Highlights From Tommy Bowden Weekly Press Conference

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Tommy Bowden Press Conference - Real | Windows Media QB Charlie Whitehurst - Real | Windows Media DB Brian Mance - Real | Windows Media WR Jackie Robinson - Real | Windows Media

DB Brian Mance on....

Big game this week?

It would mean a whole lot to win this week. I think we started thinking we were good or something last week. We really need to get this win and get back on a winning streak.

Losing any confidence lost after 3-1 start?

Not at all. I feel like our confidence is still high. We felt like we should have won the game but we kind of came out lazy and lackadaisical. We kind of underestimated Virginia.

Upperclassmen helping the team get up for every game.:

We talked about that on the plane. If Nick Eason, Bryant McNeil, Rodney, and myself come out fired up every game on defense then everyone else will jump aboard. Then on offense you get Byrd, Willie, Derrick Hamilton and some of those guys along with Bernard, and Keith then we will be fired up every game.

QB Charlie Whitehurst on....

The talk of about you stepping in and doing a little bit more?

I really don't concern myself with that. Willie is the starter, he has been all year. I think he is going to play well this week. I don't really think that a QB controversy like that, I've heard some stuff and I really don't buy into that. I think I've heard also that the backup QB could be sometimes the most popular guy on the team. I've heard that cliche a coule of times. I think that's just what people are going to say. Tha's just part of it.

How Willie is handling things these past couple of days and if back in the right frame of mind.

I think so, he can't play his best game every week. I don't think he played poorly, but I don't think he played as good as he did against Florida State.I think he's handling it well. I'm going try to come in and work as hard as he can. I know he's working probably harder than ever to prove himself.

His reps in practice:

When I said we split time, it's really he goes with the first team for as many reps as we get with the second team. So I get the second team, so it's not like we're splitting time with the first team. Yesterday was just really a walk through, just getting used to the gameplan, so we really hadn't gotten into practice real hard. I think today we will.

Maybe seeing action this week:

Coach O'Cain and Coach Scott have told me to just maybe be a little bit more ready this week. I don't really know why. I think there's been a few ideas thrown out there. I'm really not sure what the final decision will be but I know he's going to start the game.

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden on....

On the style of the Wake Forest defense:

"They run three down linemen and five linebackers. They have three
linebackers stacked behind two tackles and a nose guard. They have
two glorified strong safeties. And they have a three-deep secondary.
They rush three a whole bunch and drop eight, and sometimes rush two
guys and drop nine into coverage. They play more like our defense
and Virginia's. They react and try to tackle you and take away the
big plays. Virginia hit some deep balls against them."

On injury situations:

"It seems like we have had our share of season-ending injuries over
the last few years. Usually you have some nicks and bruises.
Yesterday, out at practice, Bernard Rambert, Yusef Kelly and Chad
Jasmin sat out along with Gary Byrd and Kevin Youngblood.
Defensively we are in a lot better shape than we are offensively.
Those five guys are day-to-day, some worse than others. The least
likely to play would be Youngblood with a hip injury, then Byrd with
the sprained ankle and knee. Bernard and Yusef are the two best
shots to play. Ben Hall only played four snaps last week due to a
shoulder injury and I hope he will be ready to go this week."

On how Clemson might respond against Wake Forest:

"Any time you lose two in a row, there is concern. But nothing that
a win will not cure. The biggest disappointment last week was the
two turnovers in the fourth quarter and that we did not score more
points when we had the opportunity on offense. We were doing some
things that were productive, but the two turnovers were really costly
in the fourth quarter."

On the Wake Forest running game:

"They are not a wishbone team, but the philosophy is very similar.
They want to minimize your possessions on offense by running the ball
and taking time off the clock. They lead the conference in rushing
and are 15th nationally. They do a really good job taking time off
the clock. They are run first and will force the issue. They will
probably be the only team left on our schedule that takes that kind
of approach."

On the job Jim Grobe has done at Wake Forest:

"Every time I see him, I tell him he ought to be in the Big Ten. He
is from the Midwest, go back to the Midwest. No, I think he and his
staff have done an excellent job running an offense that gives them a
chance to be competitive. They are playing really good defense.
They are a real aggressive team and are well-coached. I think their
scores indicate that he has done a good job."

On the punting situation:

"I have to do something this week. I have it in my mind, but I do
not want to publicize it at this time. I just need to see if it is
verified in the next few days of practice. We will evaluate the
situation really hard."

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