Tommy Bowden Comments On The Season Thus Far

Sept. 14, 1999

Clemson Coach Tommy Bowden comments on…

The importance of the Virginia win for the program “There are certain steps that a program must take in order to be successful. One is getting your players to play hard. I think another step is what happened against Marshall. We have to show that we can get the ball with a minute to go, with only one time out, and go 80 yards to put ourselves in position to win the game. That is what we did against Marshall. Saturday against Virginia we had a better performance from an overall standpoint. The ultimate sign about a program heading in the right direction is the wins and losses. The win is significant because it is a big piece of the puzzle.”

The improvements of the offense from the Marshall game “From a general standpoint, I felt we were a little more comfortable with what we were doing offensively. We were in more of a comfort zone with our assignments, reads, up front, and with our quarterback and receivers. Brandon threw the ball well. He started out feeling more comfortable than he did against Marshall. There is no doubt that we need to establish consistency over a long period of time. Hopefully we will show improvement from week to week and be able to execute at a high level on a consistent basis.”

The effort of his team against Virginia “I thought our effort against Marshall could have been better. Size has got nothing to do with effort. I thought our effort against Virginia was much better. From a coaching standpoint that is the area I feel like I can control.”

Comments about the play of his defense so far this season “I am really not surprised with our defensive play. Year after year, the Clemson defense has pretty much played along these lines. They were 16th in total defense two years ago and 25th last year. There is an attitude and a personality about defense here at Clemson and I think these players and coaches exude that attitude. Players are recruited here knowing that.”

Comments on both Clemson and Virginia Tech having 12 days to prepare for each other “I think the advantage would be in our favor if there was less time for them to prepare for our offense. Virginia Tech also uses a multiple formation offense, so our defense is going to need the extra preparation. I would rather have a normal Saturday to Saturday preparation as opposed to the open date. The hardest part of the open date is missing school. Traveling on a Wednesday, playing on Thursday, and then getting in at three or four in the morning on Friday is more of an academic burden than anything else.”

Comments about the playing time of backup quarterback Woodrow Dantzler “We will have to find a way to get him on the field. The only hard thing about getting him on the field is that he is the second team quarterback. You put him at tailback or wideout and you risk him getting injured. If he and Brandon get hurt then you have got to play a freshman at quarterback. We will, though, have some time during the open date to figure out how we can get him on the field more.”

Comments on the Virginia Tech defense “They gave Clemson and everyone else trouble last year. They remind me alot of the Alabama teams in the early 1990s. The speed, effort, and tempo they play are very upbeat. They must coach extremely hard on defense because their players play really, really hard. One of the reasons they are so good is that they are not predictable. They also have a more experienced secondary than Virginia had. I have not watched last year’s film of the game, but I know that the score was 37-0. I think they gave problems to most people.”

Comments about playing on ESPN next Thursday night against Virginia Tech “From a recruiting standpoint, a national televised game provides you the opportunity to put your product on the field for everyone to see. The advantages of playing on Thursday night far outweigh the disadvantages.”