Bowden: Clemson Offense Will Be Challenged By Tenuta
CLEMSON - Tommy Bowden studies film of Georgia Tech's defense and comes away describing it in one word:
Yellow Jackets' defensive coordinator John Tenuta, widely considered one of the best at his position in the country, is renowned for his aggressive style of coaching. Tech will bring pressure from anywhere and everywhere, and Tenuta's gamble is he's a better chess master than the opposing offensive coordinator.
"Stats don't lie. He's consistent," Bowden said after Sunday's workout. "They're quick, they move and he's multiple pressure. You're going to have to execute under pressure. He's not a rush four and defend (type of coach). He's usually bringing five and playing six underneath."
Tenuta loves the zone blitz, which will have him bring a linebacker or maybe a corner or safety after the quarterback, while dropping any one of his defensive linemen back into coverage.
Whatever the strategy, it served to help make last year's game an ugly 10-9 Georgia Tech victory in Atlanta; a game that still frustrates Bowden to an extent today.
"Nobody made a play," he said. "That's just what I got finished telling our team. Nobody made a long run. Nobody made a long catch. Nobody made a play. On either team, really. They had one long run, when we had three freshmen on one side. But that was it."
The 39-3 blowout of Tech in Atlanta three years ago nonwithstanding, this series has been remarkable in the number of close games over the past several seasons.
That's why, again, focus will be on Clemson's kick coverage unit this week. The Tigers gave up a pair of long returns in the 63-9 win over Temple last Thursday, but got away with it largely because of the Owls' general ineptitude.
Bowden noted in his talk with reporters Sunday night that he's seen something of an epidemic of kicking woes around the country. But getting his own house in order is the only thing that matters.
"We've never had this particular problem last this long," he said. "Which tells me we've done something right in the past. We just have to keep working on it and working on it until we get it right."
- Still no official decision from the folks at ESPN as to whether the GameDay show will be making an appearance at Clemson.
Officials from the network were in town in recent days and took a walk-through of the Clemson campus, scouting possible sites for the GameDay set. But Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret said Sunday that while he expects it to happen, there has been no official notification from the network as of yet.
- Chansi Stuckey was out in a yellow jersey Saturday, jogging and running on the sidelines. The Clemson wide receiver is recovering from a broken foot and had hoped to be back in time for this Saturday's game with the Yellow Jackets. However, he is officially listed as doubtful for the game.
Stuckey, for his part, remains positive. When Bowden yelled at him and asked how he was coming along, Stuckey smiled and said "Day to day."