Bowden, Spurrier Quotes

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Head Coach Tommy Bowden:

On how the Clemson vs. South Carolina game will be won

"A lot will come down to turnovers. In the game we just played (Boston College), we only had one turnover, but it resulted in (three) points and that was the difference in the score (20-17). Turnovers will be a factor. Turnovers, penalties, the kicking game, and not giving up big plays are several things that will determine the game, but I think turnovers will be the biggest thing."

On the importance of playing South Carolina

"The #1 objective was to win the ACC championship. #2 was to beat South Carolina. Well, #1 is out, so #2 becomes #1. Anytime you have a rivalry, it is hard to relegate it to second-class status, but at the beginning of the year it was behind the ACC Championship. Once that becomes out of the picture, then you rival game becomes most important and that is what we have this week, our rivalry game with South Carolina.

On South Carolina's bowl chances

"It's more of an incentive for them to win. It puts more motivation on them because they may need to have the seventh win to make sure they qualify for a bowl game. I expect them to be prepared. They're playing at home, it's senior night, they had last week off so they have extra time to prepare, and they may need a seventh win to go to a bowl. All the check marks are in their favor."

On talking to his team

"The things we have tried to talk about this year are what is important to us and what we can control. I'm don't think it is so much about what we can prevent them (South Carolina) from doing. It is about what we can do for ourselves. We need to go out and play with the same intensity and battle that we played with last week. That's the things I've talked about more with the team. We need to get a ninth win. A ninth win would give us a better bowl opportunity and give us a chance to win 10 games, which hasn't been done here in 17 years."

On South Carolina's defense

"They play a pretty aggressive type man coverage. They rank in the top five in the nation in pass defense and 16th in pass efficiency defense. Every team has a pass protection that has a weakness. Every team has a blocking scheme that has a weakness. The key is finding it at the certain time."

On the rivalry

"One thing about a rivalry game is that statistics do not matter. You read the stats and they say that they're (South Carolina) nationally ranked in pass defense, so one of the things we're going to need to do is have success throwing the football. That's what common sense would tell you, but being a rivalry game, you throw those things out the window. This game has been pretty intense, regardless of who wins. The biggest motivating factor for my team is the fact that this game is a rivalry."

On Clemson

"The biggest thing I like about this team is that every week we show up to play. That's why I think we will Saturday even though we're coming off an emotionally-draining game. You know when the ball fell short on the field goal and there were double zeros on the clock, I think our players left feeling they had left everything on the field, and I think they pretty much have every game. Against Virginia Tech, we were down 31-8 at halftime and we fought back. We had some drops against Georgia Tech and errors that hurt us, but as far as playing with intensity, we have done that for 11 games."

On South Carolina Head Coach Steve Spurrier

"I've always had respect for him. As I've mentioned several times, when he became the coach at Duke and didn't keep the offensive staff, which I was on, a lot of guys would have taken that personally and gotten mad. But, I became the wide receiver coach at Alabama six months later, and the first place I went to visit was Duke because I wanted to learn. I think he is one of the best offensive minds. I've always studied him when he was at Florida and my father played against him. So, I know for myself there has always been a tremendous amount of respect for him."

On South Carolina running backs Cory Boyd & Mike Davis

"Cory Boyd and Mike Davis are very similar to our running backs. They have two good backs and we have two good backs. I don't know if either one of them has C.J.'s speed. But they are probably more of tackle-to-tackle rushers like (James) Davis. They're running attack is a little different."



Opening Statement

"We're looking forward to Saturday with a 7 o'clock kickoff on ESPN. Hopefully our tam will be ready to platy the best we can this year and give Clemson a good game. We all know where they are and where we are. They had a heartbreaker last week, and two weeks ago we got thumped a lot like the last two games. We're challenging our players to lay it on the line, play with a lot of effort and see if we can be more competitive Saturday night."

On confidence in ability to win at South Carolina

Certainly. I hate to get ahead of ourselves, but at the same time you have to mention the future every time we have a little slump like we're in now. Our big recruiting class was last year. We certainly believe they can develop into good players. They're not ready yet, but we believe they will develop."

"For us to fight for the SEC, it's going to be difficult with Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in our division, but some years if we win the close games and it breaks right, hopefully we'll be strong enough to win the SEC. That is our goal, to win the SEC. We weren't strong enough this year. We thought maybe we were when the ball was bouncing our way against Georgia and had good wins against Kentucky and Mississippi State, but we haven't performed well since then."

"The head coach is responsible for everything. I know that. They head coach everywhere knows that. Our job is to make whatever changes we can and try to do the best we can to give our team a chance to be successful."

On playing at a higher level

"The way we've performed lately, our big concern is getting guys to play at a high level and play smarter. Hopefully we will be smarter and give ourselves a chance to win the game, if we're capable. On the other side, we can't allow those two running backs to romp up and down the field the way everyone else has romped against us the last two games."

On attitude

"As a team we don't perform at a real high, intense level. All you have to do is look at guys cover kickoffs. I watch other teams and see about nine guys busting their tales down there. All you have to do is watch their arms. If their arms are moving as fast as they can, then you know they're hustling down there and busting their tales to cover kickoffs. I wish I could say we have nine that do that, but we don't."

On seniors

"We've got really good seniors playing that are playing their last game here at home. We have Cory Boyd, Andy Boyd, Web Brown, the center, Lanard Stafford, the walk-on has been a very solid player at fullback. Defensively, Casper Brinkley and Cody Wells, a couple of defensive backs Chris Hampton and Brandon Isaac have played quite a bit back there. We have some seniors, but not many. We've got to train these young guys and see if they can respond."

On rebounding from four game skid

"Winning breeds more winning and unfortunately losing can do the same thing. You have to shake it off. You have to do what you can to learn from your losses and try to move on. We have tried our best to do that and we'll see what happens here Saturday night."

On C.J. Spiller and James Davis

"We watched Boston College play and watched a lot of guys play against them. We'll have a plan in place and hopefully our players can respond to the plan in place, get off blocks, make tackles, hustle."

On USC-Clemson rivalry

"It's very similar to Florida-FSU and Georgia-Georgia Tech - in-state schools going at it in different conferences. Clemson is a lot like us in the fact that they pretty much talk about trying to win their division and win their conference championship, and in the last week of the season we talk about beating each other."

On if preseason goals have been achieved

"We haven't won seven games yet. That was our first goal, win seven and win a bowl game. There's still a few (goals) out there."

On defensive toughness

"We haven't been very tough the last two games, let's put it that way. Can we rise up and be tough and compete? I guess we're going to find out Saturday night. I can't answer that until we come in here after the ballgame Saturday night."

On last year's rivalry game

"That was a strange game last year. They rushed for a lot of yards, but offensively that was probably our best game of the year because we were able to stay on the field."

"We were 6-5 last year, did y'all know that, going into this game. You would think we were 10-0 (last year) and now we're 0-10 the way the attitude is. We actually had the same record. I remember we were 5-5 and one of our coaches said, `We have got to beat Middle Tennessee State.' We played one of our best games really in three years against Middle Tennessee State and had some carryover into the Clemson game."

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