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Quotes From Coach Bowden’s Tuesday Press Conference

Oct. 19, 1999

Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden’s comments on…

Difficulties facing Florida State both personally and professionally “Professionally, you can see why they are the number one ranked team in the country. They have 20 or more draftable players and six to eight possible first round draft picks. Their quarterback is bigger than three of my linemen. Their defense is what is what gives you problems. They have big guys that can run and they are well coached. They can roll 11 players in and out of the game on both sides of the ball. Personally, the fact that you get to play your father, which has never been done before, is pretty exciting.”

If he thought his dad would still be coaching by the time he got a head coaching job “I did not think he would still be coaching at this age. His health is so good, though, and he really enjoys what he is doing. He has also been very successful and that obviously is important. In any profession in order to be the best you have to beat the best and this is an opportunity for us to go against a top notch staff with very good players.”

If he thinks he and his dad will be able to anticipate each other’s play calling “Yes, If he puts his headsets on. If he doesn’t have the headsets on then no one on their staff is going to be listening to him. If you have watched him over the last couple of years he has removed himself more and more from the actual game operations. In a game like this it is a matter of being able to tackle. We will have an idea of what they are going to run, but being able to tackle their players is a whole different story.”

How he wants his players to approach the game “Our players will be excited to play simply because they will be playing the number one team in the country on national television. In think we have to be careful that we do not do anything different this week in terms of our preparation. The only thing I have done differently was to move our staff meeting last Sunday back 30 minutes so that I can go out to eat after church. Kind of like the last supper type of thing where the son meets the father.”

If already having played a very good Virginia Tech defense will help Clemson this week “It shows you what you can and can not do against a very fast defense. I would like to play that game over, but it will really help us from a scheme standpoint to have played them. We will make some adjustments that will hopefully eliminate some of the pressure off of the quarterback. I do not know if it will work, but it is definitely an advantage to have that game under our belt.”

If he will use this game as a measuring stick for how far the Clemson program has come under his leadership “This is a big game for us, but Florida State has to win the game. They are the pre-season favorites, they are ranked number one, they have alot more talent. There is really not a whole lot a pressure on me this year. I am going to enjoy this one, but in the future I know that I will be expected to close the gap. He has been there 25 years and we are in our 10th month here. We lost 48-0 last year to them so if we can score three points this year, then we are showing improvement.”

Florida State’s defensive line “Their front four players are tremendously strong and quick. They can create havoc with four and then they can drop seven players into coverage. With their depth they will have a tremendous advantage against our offensive line. We will have to get the ball off quick. We try to do that anyway, but if you saw the Virginia Tech game we did not do that well enough. When you play Florida State pressure defense the opportunity is there to run the option and get a big play here and there. That was evident by their game with Georgia Tech. The problem with us is that we have a quarterback that is starting in his third game this year and is very inexperienced.”

If he thinks the famous Punt Rooskie play of 1988 helped to solidify his dad as the master of the trick play “He has called quite a few amazing plays in his career, but that one will probably go down as one of the top-10 plays ever in college football. That call put the nail in the coffin as far as getting him that label and making the trick play his trademark.”

Who most of the Bowden family will be cheering for this weekend “I would say that most all of them will be cheering for my father simply because he has more at stake. With him going for 300 wins I am sure they would like to see him win, but in a close game. My wife and kids will be cheering for me, but other than that I would say that deep down everyone will be rooting for dad.”