Tommy Bowden Tuesday Press Conference


by - Correspondent -
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Tommy Bowden Press Conference, Windows Media, (33:58)


DL Gaines Adams on an emotional last game, Steve Tanneyhill, Windows Media, (6:18)


OL Marion Dukes on the week off giving the team a lift, Windows Media, (5:43)


OL Nathan Bennett on USC, Windows Media, (3:42)


TE Thomas Hunter on what the rivalry means to him, Windows Media, (5:52)


WR Chansi Stuckey, Windows Media, (2:41)


Quotes


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."

Quick notes from Tommy Bowden's regular Tuesday meeting with media:

- Week off: Had a good practice Monday. Very spirited. Usually when you give them three days off it's pretty good...This week there's a little more excitement.

- Thanksgiving: It's a little bit different. Thankgiving Day they'll know something's a little different, just like Christmas Day last year at the bowl game.

- Passing game: How do you make them respect the passing game? Complete some balls in the game. When you throw, you need to be productive. The problem? Virginia Tech, N.C. State and Maryland. Good defenses. We threw it when we wanted to, we just didn't execute.

- It's not Proctor's mechanics. It's more going to the right guy at the right time.

- Team's confidence level is good. Anytime you get involved in a rivalry...the confidence level of both teams is usually pretty high.

- Preparing for two quarterbacks: Having to prepare for two plans is more difficult.

- Bowden's success vs. USC: Surprised more than anything. These things are usually cyclical. I remember my father losing six in a row to Florida. They usually even out.

- IPTAY trail usually more difficult when you lose to USC. Although lately I've been hearing more about Wake Forest.

- They throw the ball well downfield, better than we do. Sidney Rice has great leaping ability, which gives them an advantage on jump balls in the red zone. This game comes down to skill guys on both sides making plays, and which defense can make one more stop.

- Rivalry is underrated nationally because neither team has been consistently a top-ranked team.

- USC's defense play's hard. Good tacklers. Pretty sound in gap assignments. When you play man-free you have to be sound in scheme, or gap assignment. Whatever you call it.

- Would 8-4 be a disappointment? I don't think so. We're more competitive. Eight wins last year came after a bowl win, this year we already have eight with two to play. We're showing more consistency. Bottom line is wins and losses. When you have that consistency, wins will increase.

- Won't slit my wrist if we lose the game. Might have to avoid some shots, though. They'll have to get me on the run.

- If Wake or Maryland wins division, it's a sign to me that the window of opportunity will be more open every year. The days of one team domination are over.

- Handshake: I'd just as soon not do it again. When you do it you bring it up and keep reminding people about it. It's over with.

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