Head Coach Tommy Bowden:
On Defensive Coordinator Jon Tenuta and his defense
"We know they lead the ACC in tackles for losses and sacks, so he brings multiple pressure looks, usually a five-man pressure, three deep, three under. His motive is to get to you before you make a decision and find out where the vacant holes are. He wins a lot more than he loses and his statistics show that. There's going to be a little more pressure this week."
On Clemson's success against Georgia Tech last year
"I think it would be the same as trying to explain the success Virginia Tech had against us. It's just one of those things we just showed up and everything we did was right. The year before we lost 10-9 and it was the same two teams and same two coordinators, so it was just one of those days when we were hitting on all cylinders."
On quarterback Cullen Harper
"I cannot recall when we've ever had a quarterback with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. Shawn King (at Tulane) would be the closest."
On playing two quarterbacks, Cullen Harper and Willy Korn
"I might be more likely to play two quarterbacks in the future as opposed to one. There is a lot less separation between one and two this year than there was last year, and if two would continue to close where I wouldn't lose any productivity offensively, then I would play two (at times) because seven of the 12 ACC quarterbacks got hurt last year, and I would like my second to have some quality time."
On Clemson's confidence level so far this season
"We know a lot more now than we did four weeks ago. We know Georgia Tech is going to be a better defense than we have faced based on statistics. They are ranked higher in pretty much every category defensively than we are, and we're a pretty good defense. We'll know more after this week, but every week that he (Cullen Harper) passes the test, then obviously your confidence level is increased. But after only four games, it is hard to speculate because the meat of our schedule is coming up."
On the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech rivalry
"Since they're not in our division, they're our natural rival because we play them every year. We recruit from Georgia hard and many of our players know their players, so it is a pretty big rivalry in that regard."
On recruiting the state of Georgia
"Other than South Carolina, Georgia is the second-most recruited state by us. We're close to the state, so it's very important."
On maintaining the "high"
"I think the whole team has a different outlook at being 4-0 this year as opposed to last year when we were 7-1. We have talked about that when I met with the team last Sunday for the simple fact that when we played Georgia Tech last year I could just imagine how depressed they were to lose on national television. Then all of a sudden, they respond and win the following week. We go against Virginia Tech and we get humiliated on national television and we don't respond. We lose the next couple, so I talked to our team about how to respond in this situation."
On offensive guard Christian Capote (ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week)
"I think it is a great example and great lesson, kind of like Gaines Adams coming back for his senior season and reaping the benefits and making the decision to finish his degree. Christian Capote is a prime example of a guy, if he'll just stay here and try hard, then you'll play. I think it's a prime example that if you have perseverance and patience, you'll eventually play."
GEORGIA TECH FOOTBALL QUOTES
Head Coach Chan Gailey:
Aside from the obvious Davis/Spiller contribution, is there something in Clemson that most people haven?t seen?
?Everybody has seen how many weapons that they have and what a great job they do at using them. They have receivers, they have speed, they?ve got running backs, and they do a good job of taking care of the football. There isn?t anything new that we haven?t seen about them.?
On Clemson?s quarterback
?He is doing a great job of taking care of the football. Anytime you have a good running game, it allows you to be more careful with the football. It opens up a lot more things for you. He?s done a nice job. He?s very accurate, and he?s a big guy that can see over the middle. They?ve got a nice complement on what they are trying to do on offense right now, and he?s managing the game very well?
Are you pleased with how your players have adopted the ?look forward? approach?
?I try to talk to them about learning from the past, but not dwelling in the past. You try to find out what is wrong, fix it, and go play this week. That?s true in life. You have to do the same thing in life. You learn from past mistakes, and you go forward with whatever is on the horizon. You try to get them to understand.
?You hope that they hear you for a lifetime, not just this game. That?s what you hope. You need for them to hear you for this week because you want to go win the game, but you hope the message will be out there longer than just one week.?
How much are you worried facing Clemson after starting the season 0-2?
?If we were 2-0, I?d be just as concerned about the ballgame. As a football coach, you worry about confidence. Since these are 18- to 21-year olds, you don?t know how they are going to react. You try to get them to understand about the direction that you need to go, but if you?re undefeated, you can?t get too cocky either. There is a balance in there that you try to reach with these guys. It?s no fun being 0-2 in the conference and 2-2 overall, but that?s where you are. We need to deal with it and do something about it.?
On if they are a good team, they are also getting excited about facing a ranked opponent/Different playing a school so close
?I don?t care what the records are between Clemson and Georgia Tech, I think that both teams will be ready to play this game.
?(Playing Clemson) is always a fun deal because there are always fans that know each other. It would be better if they weren?t as good, but it?s interesting when the fans all know each other and there are families intermingled in there. It?s always interesting.?
Was Taylor (Bennett)?s throwing 40 times last Saturday a result of Choice?s limited availability in the game?
?We had two two-minute drives. You take that into account, and all of a sudden you have thrown the ball about 10 times more than you normally do. When you have a two-minute drive before the end of the half, and another two-minute drive at the end of the game, that gives you about 10 more throws than you normally have.?
Is it tough to get this team going after losing two-straight games?
?If you don?t have goals, something is wrong with you. I want the guys to have goals. The objective is to go play the best you can play every week. Prepare yourself the best that you can play, and prepare those around you to play the best that they can play. If you do that, then you can live with whatever happens. Nobody likes to have their goals dashed, but if we reel off a few in a row here, who knows what happens. There is a lot of football left, you don?t make or break a season in the first half of the year. Is it where we want to be? No. Who likes to be 0-2 in the conference? Nobody. And if they did, you wouldn?t want them on your team. At the same time, it?s where you are, and how you deal with adversity is important these days.?
On health situation and difficulties dealing with numerous injuries
?It?s not easy. It?s not ideal, but you deal with it. We have to deal with situations week-in and week-out, just like we ask the players to deal with it during a game, after a game, and during the week. We were fortunate last year to play almost the entire year injury-free, and that can spoil you in a hurry. This year we have not been that fortunate, so we have to develop young talent, you have to get them on the field and let them see everything they can see in practice, which is impossible. But you do the best you can with those young players and see how they develop. It?s not ideal, but everyone?s got that problem. We aren?t the only ones with that problem, everyone has it.?
How has Morgan Burnett performed?
?He?s played remarkably well for a true freshman. He?s stepped in and done some things, athletically, that we knew he could do. Mentally, we weren?t sure, but he?s handled both of those very well. I think Coach Tenuta has done a great job of not asking him to do more than he can do, not asking him to do something that he might ask Djay Jones to do. It limits you a little bit, but at the same time, when you have a veteran secondary with some other seniors around him, they can help him work through all the issues back there and get him in the right spot when there is a problem. I think he?s done remarkably well as a freshman.?
What can be done to improve the third down situation?
?The first thing is to get out of 3rd-and-eight-plus. We?ve had 25 countable 3rd-and-eight-plusses, and seven 3rd-and-seven-minuses. The odds of 3rd-and-eight-plus and making it go way down. We?ve just done a poor job of putting ourselves in position, whether by a penalty or negative yard run or incomplete first-down pass, to get us in long-yardage situations. That?s what we need to eliminate. It won?t solve it, but it will help us.?
On Correy Earls
?It?s an answer to prayer. When a guy first goes down, guys go down all the time, so you?re dealing with other things. When a guy stays on the ground for a while, you start to get nervous. There are a lot of people, but you go over there. It is a scary moment, to be honest with you. You?re much more like a parent than a coach at that point in time. That?s a hard situation. I?ve been very blessed through the years, I?ve never had a major, major injury. We?re all so pleased and thankful that everything is okay.
?He went to class yesterday. He?s got a neck brace. From what I understand, everything was cleared. Really, he said it feels more like a case of whiplash than anything. He doesn?t have headaches like a bad concussion. All of those are great positives.?