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Quotes From Bowden’s Press Conference

Nov. 16, 1999

Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden’s comments on…

How his team has reacted this week after the close loss to Georgia Tech “I believe they have recovered pretty well, but you never really know until you play the next game. I do not think they will have any problem focusing on South Carolina simply because if we win we have a chance to go to a bowl. I think the players really want to go to a bowl, but we will see how much they want it when they play this week. Getting their attention, though, has not been a problem this week.”

The possibility of playing Willie Simmons this week if Woodrow Dantzler was to get injured “We would probably play Matt Schell this week if something was to happen to Woody. Right now I think the best thing for Willie is to red-shirt. Not only do I think that it would be the best thing for him, but I also think it would be the best thing for the university and the future of our football program.”

This year’s South Carolina team “I know that they have the third best defense in a very tough conference. I seriously doubt that there will be very many points scored by us on Saturday. On defense they start more seniors (6) than we do on offense and their offensive line is much bigger than our offensive line. They have shown improvement from week to week and I think we will see their best team on the field this week.”

The rivalry with South Carolina “This rivalry reminds me very much of the Auburn/Alabama rivalry. They are both in-state battles and there are no pro teams in either state. There is talk about the game 365 days a year and it is extremely important to the fans, players, alumni, job security, and every thing else down the line.”

If Brad Scott’s knowledge of South Carolina will help Clemson this week “I think it will help us out a little bit but the bottom line is that our players still have to go out and tackle. From day one, Brad has been extremely important to our program. He has been a very successful offensive coordinator for a long time and he has a national championship ring. His knowledge of all the high school coaches and players in the state has really helped us. Our tight ends last week had a very productive game and he has developed that aspect of our team very well.”

How his team will match up with the power running of South Carolina “Virginia had a very good running attack and so did Maryland. Virginia Tech ran for 200 yards against us in the first half so there have been teams in the past that have had success against us running the ball. We are ranked 40-50th in the nation against the run and that is very average. Our front seven on defense really has to respond this week for us to be successful.”

His rivalry with Lou Holtz “I think there is much more of a rivalry with coach Holtz and my father because they have played each other five or six times. Besides the fact that it is Clemson versus South Carolina, I really do not think there is a rivalry between us. I have never coached on the same staff as him and I have never recruited against him. My contact with him has been very minimal and we really do not have much background with each other. His career as a coach has been very impressive and his number of wins (216) speaks for itself.”