Bowden: Kickoff Will Tell How Well Tigers Prepared


by - Correspondent -
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ORLANDO - All week long Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden talked about
balancing work vs. reward in a place such as Orlando, where attractions
- and
distractions - await seemingly around every corner.


But by all accounts the players have done their part, staying focused
while
on the field and in meetings, then having fun at the appropriate time.
Given
those circumstances, one would think the Tigers will be extremely
focused on
Texas Tech come kickoff time for Monday's Mazda Tangerine Bowl.


Still, Bowden said, you never know.


"I don't think you can ever put your finger on it until the game's
played,"
he said Saturday following his team's final practice at Disney's Wide
World
of Sports Complex. "That's what we were talking about after practice.
You're
a day-and-a-half, two days away from the game, you need to start
focusing in
during your spare time, in meetings or when you're sitting in your
room, and
start getting serious about this win.


"I've never been able to tell, even after 26 years (in coaching), if
they're
100 percent ready. You just never know until you play the game."


Saturday's workout not only was the final practice of the season, but
for the
seniors it represented the final practice of their college careers.


Many of them, Bowden said, have hopes of continuing their careers
professionally. So he used Monday's game as bit of motivational fodder
for
those who might be lucky enough to land in the NFL.


"For the seniors this is one more time to be evaluated against (Big 12)
competition," Bowden said. "The regional scouts will come out there,
and
they've (already) seen how Texas performed against Texas Tech, and how
Oklahoma performed against them. Now you get compared.


"So this is a little more serious for the seniors because it's one more
evaluation for those who hope to make the NFL a career."

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