CLEMSON - Bowden Bowl III doesn't have the national luster of the first two father-son meetings, but in the wacky Atlantic Coast Conference it could play a major part in which team wins the league title.
Tommy Bowden's Clemson team needs a win today to keep alive its fleeting title hopes, while Bobby's Florida State squad looks to continue its strong comeback in the ACC. After defeating Maryland last week, the No. 14 Seminoles - thanks to Georgia Tech's 28-21 victory Thursday night against North Carolina - can solidify their grip on first place by beating Clemson today (3:30 p.m., ABC).
"We've got more to lose. They've got more to gain," Bobby Bowden said. "We're still in a fight for the championship. We lose it, we're out. Tommy's already lost two conference games, so he's out. But he could get one of the biggest wins they've ever had up there by beating us there. I'm sure he'll have them highly motivated."
|Clemson (5-2) vs. Florida State (5-2)
Date: November 3, 2001
Kickoff: 3:37 PM
Site: Clemson Memorial Stadium
Expected Attendance: 84,000
Ticket Availability: Sold Out
Live TV: ABC (Brad Nessler, Bob Griese, Lynn Swann)
Series Record: Florida State leads 12-2, 6-0 at Death Valley
Last Meeting: Florida State 54, Clemson 7 in 2000 at FSU
Last Meeting at Clemson: Florida State 17, Clemson 14 in 1999
Clemson Rankings: 24th in USA Today, NR in AP
Florida State Rankings: 14th in AP, 14th in USA Today
Championship hopes or not, there is much more at stake to this game than just the conference standings.
Recruiting battles often are front and center in a game like this, and Tommy Bowden's largest group visit of the year will come today at Death Valley. The outcome of the game may not sway recruits one way or another (Roscoe Crosby and Airese Currie chose Clemson over FSU last year despite a 54-7 loss), but beating the team previously thought of as virtually unbeatable wouldn't hurt matters.
On the other hand, too many defeats like last season's 54-7 debacle in Tallahassee can slow the small strides Clemson has made in recruiting.
But Tommy Bowden seemingly has found an even keel on which to handle such issues.
"Anytime you lose on TV badly, it's embarrassing," he said. "I can't think of any head coach - (Joe) Paterno, (Tom) Osborne, LaVell Edwards, my father - that it hasn't happened to. They were embarrassed, and I get embarrassed. You can either quit the profession or choose to move on."
Bowden has moved on, and gets a chance to avenge last season's blowout loss today at Death Valley.
To do that, the Tigers will have to succeed in two areas:
Defensively, Clemson must make something good happen early in the game to build confidence. Secondly, it must protect the ball.
"I would say turnovers are going are going to be a key factor<" Bowden said. "We've got to keep the ball some, convert some third downs and move it. We have to stay out of long yardage situations. Things that you normally have to do against a very good team, we're going to have to do.
"There are a lot of teams out there that are equal to us, so we have to do that every week."
Clemson Injury Summary
*Kevin Youngblood (WR)-broken leg, out
*Marcus Houskin(FS)-broken neck, out
*Altroy Bodrick (LB)-torn ACL, out
*Tony Elliott (WR)-broken wrist, out
*Kevin Johnson (CB)-Family death last week, will play
Ben Hall (TE)-Strained neck vs. Wake Forest, will play
John Leake (LB)-sprained ankle vs. Wake Forest, will play
Airese Currie (WR)-sprained foot vs. Wake Forest, will play
Chad Carson (LB)-sprained knee vs. Wake Forest, will play
Ryan Hemby is expected to start at cornerback, his
third straight start. Kevin Johnson lost his father this week due to
a stroke and missed Monday and Thursday practices. He is available
to play Saturday. John Leake suffered a sprained ankle vs. Wake
Forest and missed Monday and Tuesday practice. He was back at
practice Wednesday and will start against Florida State.
Clemson To Celebrate 1981 National Championship Reunion
Clemson will celebrate the 20-year anniversary of its 1981 National
Championship on November 3rd at Death Valley. Over 100 former
players and coaches are expected to attend, said retired Head
Athletic Trainer Fred Hoover, who is coordinating the event.
The team will be available for autographs outside the Fike Recreation
Center on Saturday, November 3, from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm. Current
Ring of Honor member Jeff Davis and soon to be inducted member Terry
Kinard will be on the Tailgate Show at 2:00 pm located next to
Littlejohn Coliseum. They will also be available for autographs.
The 1981 team will march from Fike to "The Hill" at 2:45 pm where
they will enter the stadium by Running Down The Hill during pre-game
ceremonies. They are expected to run down the hill by approximately
3:15 PM. Terry Kinard will then be honored by the College Football
Hall of Fame, and will be inducted into the Clemson Ring of Honor at
Memorial Stadium. Kinard will be formally inducted into the College
Hall of Fame in New York City in December. Each inductee has an
on-campus ceremony during the season and this will be Kinard's.