Bowden Press Conference Highlights


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Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden's comments on:


The speed and tempo of the Clemson offense after three games

"With our offense we try to get set as quickly as possible. From there the defense determines if we need to make checks at the line or not. Right now I would say that we are getting pretty close to where we need to be in terms of the tempo of our offense. With our tempo it limits defenses calls to some extent and it makes it difficult for the defense to make the corect substitutions. The fatigue factor is very important and also it is very difficult for opposing scout teams to try and copy our offense in only a week's time."


The Virginia coaching staff

"I think we will see a much different game against Virginia this year than we saw last year simply because of the fact that they now have more film to study on us. I think people forget that in the 90's Virginia won more games against Clemson than Clemson won against Virginia. George Welsh has been there 18 years and over that time he has recruited excellent players for their system. He has the most conference wins of any coach in the conference and with his coaching staff we know we have a difficult task in front of us."


The importance of the game for Clemson

"I think our players understand that the stakes have now gone up, but until Saturday we will not know if they know how to respond. Our players are in unfamiliar territory a little bit right now and while I think they understand mentally what they have to do, we will have to wait until Saturday to see if they can respond physically. We are going to practice extremely hard over the next couple of days and we are really going to push them to concentrate and focus on what is ahead."


Playing on the road for the first time this season

"I think that playing on the road will be good for us becuase it allows our players to experience new things. Winning on the road is very important especially when you are playing in the conference. In the process of establishing respect for our program we have to be able to beat good teams on the road. We will not be a good team until we can do
that."


If he thinks it will hurt Clemson to not have played in any close games this season

"Because we have not been behind in the fourth quarter yet this season that is a definitately a concern. Last year's team is different than this year's team and this team has not been challenged late in a game yet. I do not think conditioning will be a problem but until we see them respond both mentally and physically in that situation, we simply do not what to expect."


Below is the audio of interviews with Clemson coaches and players. You need the
free Real Player

to hear this audio.


Tommy Bowden Press Conference (34:46)


Defensive coordinator Reggie Herring on his #1 ranked defense. (16:55)


Offensive lineman Will Merritt on facing UVA this week.


Baseball assistant Tim Corbin on winning National Asst Coach of the Year.


VIRGINIA HEAD COACH GEORGE WELSH


On QB Woodrow Dantzler and Clemson's offense:

I think he is faster than [Joe] Hamilton and they're not running an option.
It's a concept that's been improved upon. It's the no-huddle (offense) that
Florida State popularized with Charlie Ward except they didn't run the ball
off tackle with Charlie Ward. They got him (Ward) outside.


Now in order to keep teams from spreading out and playing four or five guys
in the box, they have developed a running game with it, so that you have to
stop the run too. He (Dantzler) is running off tackle. He is not running
outside that much. Now they have a couple of different runs for their
single back and their quarterback and they've got a lot of misdirection and
it makes it harder to stop them.


On the play of the UVa defensive line against Duke:

We're not getting enough pressure on the passer. We're letting the
quarterback run around too much, but some of the ends played pretty well.
We didn't necessarily get some good interior play and we have to corral
them, we can't let them run around so much. For some reason, unexplainable
to me, Duke double-teamed our guys. I didn't think they had to, but they
did. It made it harder to get to them.


On concern about the UVa running game:

It's a combination of a couple things. We have a new center (Dustin Keith)
and a new left guard (Jared Woodson). Everything was fine in preseason
because it was the same defense as it was in the spring for all of those
practices and now things are changing. We have to adjust some things. And
Antwoine Womack's playing for the first time again in a year. (True
freshman) Jonathan Ward is playing for the first time and (Tyree) Foreman
hasn't had a lot of experience. We are not making some cuts that we should
make. It is a combination of both.


On getting ball to wide receiver Billy McMullen against Duke:

We said we need to get the ball to McMullen, but we are still calling
passes and he is not always the first guy in the progression. We don't want
(quarterback Dan) Ellis to be zeroed in on McMullen all of the time either,
but we got a lot of one-on-one coverage on him that's one of the reasons
why we were successful.

On the progress made by quarterback Dan Ellis:

I think he's done very well under a lot of pressure. Our offensive line
needs to give him a little better protection. He is getting hit too much.
We've made some really good catches too, though. So the receivers have to
get some credit. He is making quicker decisions than he did. Whoever he is
supposed to throw the ball to, the brain is working a little bit quicker. I
really believe he is more accurate.

On Clemson passing attack:

Right now, I think the hardest thing is that they are running the ball so
well. It makes it harder to defend the pass because you have to defend the
run too.

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