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Tommy Bowden Press Conference Quotes

Tommy Bowden Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 21, 2006

Clemson after a bye-week: “We had a good practice yesterday. They were very spirited. Usually when you have a few days off, it helps. We weren’t as spirited last Thursday because they were looking forward to a few days off.”

Playing on Thanksgiving week: “This is the second time that I’ve been here during Thanksgiving since I’ve been here (2001 was the other season). I think Thanksgiving Day they will know there’s a difference. There will be a little difference in that morning practice.”

On executing the passing game: “We have to complete some passes. One of the successes of the passing game is unpredictability with the run/pass ratio. I think it is a matter of when you do throw the ball, you need to be productive. We’ve got to execute. Because of the last three games, I’m sure they’re (South Carolina) going to challenge us, and they have a good defense.”

Confidence level: “I think our level is good. This type of game, with it being a rivalry, makes confidence levels pretty high. We’ve played them in the eight years since I’ve been here under several scenariosŠlosing the game before, winning the game before, losing a few games before, and winning a few games before. Confidence and momentum in a rivalry game in my experience is not that big of factor, because there is going to be an extra can of gasoline thrown on the fire for each side come Saturday at 12:02.”

Preparing for quarterbacks Blake Mitchell and Syvelle Newton: “Having only two seniors (in the starting lineup on defense) and then having to prepare two plans is a little more challenging, and there is more chance for a missed assignment. We have to prepare a little different plan. Anytime you extend or multiply your schemes, you also multiply your chance for error.”

On South Carolina head coach, Steve Spurrier: “He’s a pretty good coach, one of the best in the history of the game. I look forward to shaking hands with him. He’s a former NFL head coach and will be a Hall of Fame coach, so I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”

Different advantages of Clemson and South Carolina: “I don’t know if there are any advantages other than they throw the ball down the field better more than we do. Sidney Rice (wide receiver) has great leaping ability and down-field ability. Right now, Blake Mitchell (quarterback) is hot throwing the ball. We have a pretty productive running game. We ran for 223 yards versus N.C. State. In a game like this, it’s going to come down to receivers, quarterbacks, and running backs making plays, and defenses making one more stop.”

Bowden’s previous knowledge of the Clemson/South Carolina rivalry before entering the program: “I didn’t know too much about it simply because I didn’t go to school or coach in this state. I didn’t know how intense it was, but I had an idea because of the Alabama/Auburn rivalry. I coached at both of those schools (in the Alabama-Auburn rivalry) and the in-state rivalries are fairly intense, and this (Clemson/South Carolina) is much like it.”

South Carolina’s defense: “They play hard. They have good tacklers because they play a lot of ‘man-free.’ They’re pretty sound in gap assignments. Anytime a defense plays ‘man-free,’ it allows them to bring a few more players, so quarterbacks are usually making throws under pressure. Jasper Brinkley (South Carolina linebacker) reminds me of Anthony Waters (Clemson linebacker). He has spirit and enthusiasm. He looks to me like he’s the heart and soul of the defense like Waters was for us.”

On South Carolina’s wide receiver Sidney Rice compared to Calvin Johnson of Georgia Tech: “The other guy (Calvin Johnson) was a lot bigger. This guy (Sidney Rice) is a little more elusive and harder to hit. They’re both very similar in speed and leaping ability. Sidney (Rice) gets down the field versus ‘press-man’ a little bit better.”

On defensive end, Gaines Adams: “He reminds me of the late Derrick Thomas (former Alabama defensive end and All-Pro NFL player) in regards to his speed, quickness off the edge, and open-field ability. He has a good chance to catch a skill guy in the open field. He is certainly one of the best defensive players I have coached.”