Oct. 7, 2004
Recap | Final Stats
SCOTT STADIUM CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA October 7, 2004 POST-GAME QUOTES
CLEMSON HEAD COACH Tommy Bowden
We’re going to have to be a lot more productive offensively. We couldn’t get them off the field – a lot of third-down conversions to sustain drives – and we’re not getting those. At some point in time, it is [the defense’s] job to get off the field, and that is a factor. We’re going to have to keep the ball and convert third downs to help those guys out.
I wanted to see how we played without turnovers … and we’ve got a ways to go. I’ve got a lot of work to do as the head coach of this team. It falls on my shoulders to find schemes that can be productive and to find the players that can run the schemes. Yeah, we finally had a game without turnovers – they had two, we had one. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
(On the Clemson running game) We moved it fairly good in there early. But there were just long stretches where we didn’t get the ball and we didn’t have the opportunity to do a lot of things. Our field position was the six yard line and the seven yard line. You’ve got to be careful what you do back there.
We played them the last three years and we managed 400 yards of offense a game against them and they’ve been very tight, close games. … Last year, we hit big plays and we stopped their run a lot better than we did [tonight]. I’d say that’s the biggest difference.
Right now, he’s getting more out of his than I’m getting out of mine. They’re pretty talented, though. You’ll see all those guys playing on Sundays. It’s my job to get similar type players and do a better job coaching.
I thought we got worn down toward the second half. But again, it’s [the defense’s] responsibility to get them off the field. It is a team game. You convert third-and-10, third-and-12 over and over again – we’re having a hard time converting those, other teams should have a hard time converting.
VIRGINIA COACH Al Groh
We remain in the hunt. That’s our way of thinking, nothing less, nothing more. I’m sure Florida State is not particularly impressed with it.
(On playing FSU) We could be less ready. But I don’t know if we’re ready enough. … We’ll see what it brings. We’re going to put our head down, set our jaw and try to plow forward. … We’re playing World Series competition. We’ll have to rise to that because we’ve never been to the World Series.
Coming into the season, I felt like [Clemson] was going to be one of the most talented and best teams in the conference. I still feel that way. We did a very good job on their dynamic playmakers today. … We did a good job on Whitehurst, who I believe is a tremendously talented quarterback. We certainly had our hands full with LeRoy Hill, but we didn’t allow him to take the game over as he did last year. The players knew what the challenges were, and they responded to those challenges.
We made some mistakes and we’ve got to go back and make improvement. There was a very harmful turnover that wasn’t just turning the ball over, it was turning points over. That was going to be a three- or seven-point possession. You can’t have that kind of mistake. That’s on the list of things that, if we’re going to stay in the hunt, we can’t afford.
We started to get a sense that the cumulative effect that the running game takes was starting to work.
(On Alvin Pearman) When he got in there, he was pretty hot. It didn’t make logical sense to change that at that particular time. This is another one of those cases that players make the difference, not coaches.
(On Kwakou Robinson’s play) Solid. Maybe a little more than solid.
Real good night for Connor Hughes: 50 yard field goal and a couple of others he knocked through. They were real important. … They were very significant at the time they occurred.
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