Bowden Disappointed in Effort Against UNC

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON -- Clemson's 38-24 win over North Carolina on Saturday night will be remembered for many things.

Most of all Willie Simmons' throwing four touchdowns in relief of an injured Woody Dantzler. There was also Rod Gardner's record-setting night with seven receptions for 182 yards as well as Joe Don Reames' 51-yard punt return And then the scene after the game as Simmons ran off the field to the cheers of several thousand Clemson fans in Chapel Hill.

You'll have to excuse Clemson coach Tommy Bowden if he doesn't get misty-eyed when he thinks about it all.

The sum total of his praise the day after the game went to Reames and place kicker Aaron Hunt, who kicked a field goal and made all his extra points.

"Disappointments? Plenty of them," he said.

Everyone knows it's Tommy Bowden's job to worry, but he's putting in some overtime with Georgia Tech (5-2), Florida State (7-1) and South Carolina (7-1) left on the schedule.

"Here's the negatives - it's the softest the line has played this year," he said. "It was soft, a poor effort up front. Same way with Travis Zachery. And repeated big plays on defense. We would lose containment and receivers were running free on the defense. We were playing too high. He had a lot of penalties. Fifteen penalties. Some of the penalties we had were alignment, illegal procedure. That was a key penalty late. There is plenty to work on and correct."

Needless to say, any of the players that went into yesterday's team meeting with a smile of contentment because of Clemson's 8-0 record quickly had the smile removed by Bowden's critique of the game.

"I was very dissatisfied in the was a lack of effort, poor effort, by the backs and offensive linemen," he said.

Bowden was particularly critical of Zachery, who rushed for 89 yards against North Carolina after rushing for nearly 300 yards in the previous two games. According to Bowden, he didn't play well when he didn't have the ball.

"Maybe he thinks he's just a ball carrier now," said Bowden, who had been singing Zachery's praises of late. "It's not just him. There were several guys like that on both sides."

While it took Bowden's review of the game tape to see players not playing well away from the ball, it was obvious that big plays should be a concern.

North Carolina had four plays over 30 yards, including a pair of 57-yard pass plays. "I'm real concerned because with Georgia Tech, that's their deal," said Bowden. "They isolate and find a weakness. We can't contain a quarterback. People stop our reverses, but we can't stop one."

Sounds like Bowden will make sure his players remember Saturday's game for a while.


Dantzler's bruised ankle will be evaluated before practice. If Dantzler is able to practice, he will be the starting quarterback Saturday. Bowden saw no problem with the way Dantzler was playing before he was injured, despite Clemson's 17-0 deficit.
"We're going to keep doing what we've been doing," he said.

Clemson's game against Georgia Tech on Saturday will start at 3:30. It will be televised on ABC television.

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