Bowden Changes Tune on Team Overnight

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON -- Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is willing to admit when he's wrong.

Just ask defensive lineman Terry Jolly.

Jolly was standing near a flag Saturday. When he came off the field, Bowden yelled at him and even had defensive coordinator Reggie Herring on him for an infraction they assumed Jolly committed.

When the official explained the flag, Bowden had some explaining to do himself. The penalty was on the offense.

"That happens a lot to me," said Bowden. "Closest guy to the flag I blame."

Bowden and Herring went to Jolly and apologized. "I do that every week. It's normal procedure," he said.

Sounds like Bowden had a change of heart about his football team as well. Bowden, critical of his team's performance Saturday night after its 35-14 win over Maryland, wasn't nearly so dissatisfied on Sunday.

Clemson missed a couple of extra points, had a fumble and the defense gave up a late touchdown. Bowden went home and thought about it. He decided that, while the mistakes will be dealt with (Aaron Hunt will again be the placekicker on Saturday at North Carolina, replacing Tony Lazzara), he would keep the mistakes in perspective. There weren't any major changes resulting from the game. Except maybe what Bowden thinks about his team.

"I thought about it overnight," he said. I racked my mind all night. We're in a great place, we're fifth in the nation, we haven't been here very long and draft day is going to show that the kids are playing real hard.

Tommy Bowden Press Conference Keith Adams on shutting down LaMont Jordan Chad Carson on getting to 7-0 Woody Dantzler and his thoughts on how the offense performed Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring on the play of the defense Offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez on the headaches the offense gave him. Travis Zachery on his over 150 yard performance.

"Am I disappointed in the extra points? Yes. Am I disappointed with the fumble? Yes. But I am happy with the results with the players we've got on the field."

Clemson is No. 5 again in the Associate Press poll while the USA Today/CNN poll has the Tigers No. 3 in the nation. According to Bowden, he never imagined that he could have the team that high in the polls after a year and a half with the program.

"I'm pleased with where we are," he said. "I didn't anticipate wanting to win the national championship in my second year here."

He said he isn't worried that Oklahoma jumped his team in the AP poll after the Sooners beat previously undefeated and No. 3 Kansas State.

"If we win the next game, we'll have a chance to advance," he said. "If we don't, we won't."

Bowden knows that Clemson will have as good a chance as anyone to play for the national championship if Clemson wins the rest of its games.

"We've gotten exactly what we deserve so far," he said. "Look at our schedule. Holy smoke. If we win out we'll be alright."

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