Head Coach Tommy Bowden:
On Clemson's performance against Florida State:
"I've just looked at the offensive side (on film). I haven't looked at the defense or kicking game yet. I know my father (Bobby Bowden) said last night that their defense didn't tackle very well. In the first half, I felt our offensive line did a good job from an assignment standpoint by just covering their guy up.
Sometimes it may have been a physical mismatch, but we covered them up and our backs did a pretty good job of hitting the holes. Last year down the stretch we either couldn't convert offensively or convert defensively. As the momentum changed in the second half, we needed a defensive stop and we got it. We only have two seniors on defense and three on offense, so it shows a lot of leadership and composure for underclassmen."
On reserve offensive guard Bobby Hutchinson:
"I thought Bobby did a pretty good job. I don't think he had any holding calls, which really hurt us in the game. I thought he played extremely hard. He covered guys up. I was real pleased with his performance."
On the offense's performance against Florida State:
"We called more than we ever called?routes designed to hit the 18 to 23-yard horizontal stretch. We had them called on a couple of sacks. We weren't really productive in the second half, but again, I assumed that was Florida State coming out (ready to play). At least we prepared our players mentally for a 60-minute game, and it surely came down to that."
On playing another Monday night game:
"I might do it again. The national television exposure is really good. It puts the face of the University on a national television screen. I saw a couple of highlights on television last night at three or four in the morning, and it was pretty electric around this place. Our administration has done a good job promoting one common theme."
On schedule for this week:
"I talked to my father after the game about what he's going to do for the rest of the week to prepare for his Saturday game. I also talked to Larry Coker (former Miami coach who had a Monday night game with Florida State previously). We're not practicing today. Tomorrow will be a full-pads day normally, but that practice and Thursdays won't be as long as they usually are. We're having a walk through on Friday when we normally don't. So our schedule will be altered a whole bunch."
On the kicking game against Florida State:
"I mentioned the kickoff coverage to the team after the game. Mark Buchholz (place kicker) and kickoff coverage was a tempo setter. When those guys had success, it generated enthusiasm. Andre Powell (running backs coach) has invested a lot of time and effort, and he has brought a little bit of perspective to the coverage and how we approach it. The success was obvious. The blocked punt happened because we made a counting error on the guy that came free to block it. The center blocked the wrong way and the guy came through."
On defensive end Phillip Merling:
"He's a really good player. He was one of our captains, and we seldom have a junior captain. His work habits over the summer and preseason and his vocal leadership on the field shows that he is a hard worker. He plays like he practices. He's a key ingredient defensively, not only as a player, but as a leader."
On quarterback Cullen Harper:
"For him to go against some live bullets (Florida State) where the pocket collapses more than it does at practice and against the scout team, he stepped up and avoided contact and made throws with tight coverage. I thought he made those adjustments really well."
On the defense's motivation during the Florida State game:
"They watched television on Saturday night and saw who picked who to win the game and they noticed that no one picked us. Florida State was favored. As commentators made their comments about why Florida State was favored, the only reason they stated was because of their defense. Well, our defense gets a little chip on their shoulders. That always helps with motivation."
On linebackers Tramaine Billie and Nick Watkins:
"Billie on the field is a really good leader. He is respected and Nick (Watkins) is the same way. They make a lot of plays because of their speed. They played well last night."
On playing Louisiana-Monroe:
"We've been going hard on Florida State so we haven't had much time to study Louisiana-Monroe, but today we will. I know they put 40-something on the board versus Kentucky last yearand that will be my biggest concern. We will talk to the team about that because we surely couldn't do it (last year) and they did. They have a very good running back (Calvin Dawson) who is very productive consistently."
FLORIDA STATE FOOTBALL QUOTES
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Head Coach Bobby Bowden:
The Clemson game ? a tale of two halves?
?Well that?s exactly the way it was. The first half, we played about as bad as we could. We just broke down in all areas. Our kicking wasn?t good. Our kickoffs and kickoff returns were not good. Our punt returns were no good. Our punting wasn?t as good as it should have been. Our defense allowed three long touchdowns and our offense, just missed play after play. Fundamentals, we didn?t block and tackle like we?ve got to do to win ball games.?
And the second half?
?We had a chance to win it. Offensively, it was the lack of execution. At the end, our defense held them. Then our offense would do some good things, but then the lack of execution really cost us. You?ve got to realize, we?re throwing in a completely new offense at these kids and they haven?t grasped it yet and it?s very obvious. Sometimes you have to get in to a ball game to find that out. Once we get it, I think we are going to be pretty doggone good but it?s pretty obvious that we do this wrong, this wrong, that wrong here and there, just enough to throw you way off.?
?The second half, our execution was a little bit better, but we still blew a lot of assignments. Kids got more fired up and we did some better things. The big thing is that our defense stopped them from scoring and our offense got a couple of scores and we just needed one more to win that doggone ball game.?
On quarterback play?
?As you look back at the quarterback, he (Drew Weatherford) did good under the circumstances. He was harassed terribly, a lot. Overall, I thought the quarterback did a pretty good job. He didn?t turn the ball over and you know how that kills you.?
Does losing vs. Clemson, does that put pressure to get things fixed and fixed quickly?
?I don?t know about the pressure. I feel real comfortable with our coaches. I know they are preparing our players where they understand every little bit of it and then us getting to get the time and team work together to execute it. We did a much better job the second half, than we did the first half. It was like two different ball clubs really. When you get my age, you don?t worry much about pressure. I don?t think our coaches will. A lot of them do. Surely in one year, they won?t put pressure on them.?
What approach do you take after the Clemson loss?
?I take the approach that probably anybody would take after you lose a ball game is try to go out and find out why you got beat and make the necessary corrections and then hope you can win the next ball game. That?s about all you can do. I see enough mistakes. If we can correct half of them, we?d be okay.?
About the Clemson first half being about as bad as he has seen an FSU team play?
?It seemed like everything you did was wrong. Every time you did something it was wrong. We missed assignments, we lined up incorrectly. The play was supposed to go right, the backs went left. This guy was supposed to block here, he blocked there. That?s the problem our offense was having and that was missed assignments, missed alignments and poor blocking. As I was watching the game, I felt like if we blocked as good as they?re blocking and we tackle as good as they?re tackling, that score would be the other way around.?
How surprised were you about the team?s effort in the first half based on your preparation?
?I don?t know if it was the effort, I think it was just a missed tackle because you throw your tackler too far from the guy instead of getting up close to tackle. A missed block because you went this man, instead of this man. Our effort picked up as the game progressed, our effort picked up. The second half was an entirely different ball game.?
How would you evaluate how your team responded to a halftime challenge?
?They responded positively, but not quite good enough, but they nearly applied good enough. They nearly rallied. It would have been a great rally if they had. It would have been unbelievable but we didn?t quite make it.?
Offensive line first half problems ?
?The scheme?s good. There were times we had people open and the quarterback couldn?t get the ball off because the pass protection broke down. There were times when the quarterback had good protection and they didn?t run the patterns correctly. There were times when we had big holes in there. On that third down and one, when the quarterback lost four yards, if you remember the play, that was typical of what was happening the first half. The backs went left and were supposed to go right and they had a big hole in there. And things like that, really hurt us?
?The different between Tommy (Bowden) and us right now, he?s had his offense together about three years, this offensive coordinator about three years and he?s got it down pretty good, knows what he wants to do. His kids understand it and therefore, he can take his offense and pattern it to beat Florida State. We?re still learning ours and I didn?t know that until I saw this film. We?re still trying to grasp what we?re doing. Once we get it, I think we will be okay but we?re still learning.?
Are there some things that you can fix right away?
?You know what would scare you to death? If you looked at that film and said this is as good as you can play. That would scare you to death but you look at it and you say, guys if we can get this corrected, and if we get this corrected, and if we corrected this, it would have been a touchdown.?
What did you see in Drew Weatherford?s play?
?He played better than I thought. He did not turn the ball over. With the pressure on him, not to throw an interception, was a tremendous improvement. He did rush some throws at times, he did have a chance to stick the ball in there at times and didn?t do it and typical first-game things. Overall, under the circumstances, I don?t know what would have happened to us if he had fallen apart.?
How encouraging were the final 17 minutes?
?You wonder why we couldn?t have done that the first half but you don?t want to take anything away from them. They were fired up. They were at home. They?re crowd was in it. They?ve got two of the finest running backs back there. We had one, they had two. And their receivers caught the ball great. It kind of started right before the half, I guess.?
About UAB ?
?We need to play at home. UAB, they?ve got a lot of young guys and the problem is, you don?t have but two days to prepare for them. We got back at 4 a.m. Tuesday morning and the kids have got to sleep sometime and get to classes. Then we have a light practice Tuesday night and you have two days of work. You can?t work hard all that time because then you don?t have anything left for Saturday so we?ve got to get ready for them in about two good practices. If we can just get our mistakes corrected, it would mean a lot.?