Highlights From Tommy Bowden Weekly Press Conference

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Tommy Bowden on ........

On the excitement of the Clemson-South Carolina rivalry:
"There is kind of an electricity that you feel. We'll probably feel
it more in practice today and as the week goes on. There will be
more of a buzz around. We (the coaches) come in early and don't get
out on campus or go downtown. So we kind of get secluded in the
office. I'm sure that the players will feel a lot more of the
electricity, simply by being among the students and the general
public more so than the coaches."

On the pressure of beating South Carolina to get to a better Bowl game:
"The rivalry is the biggest factor. It's bigger than trying to
maintain a winning record and what bowl we go to. It's the No.1

On preparing for two different Carolina quarterbacks:

"I don't think that will be a big issue because both are similar
physically. I don't think their offense changes that much with
either one in the game. Both have good running skills and they
utilize their quarterback as a runner kind of like we did last year
with Woody Dantzler. Whether #5 (Dondrial Pinkins) or #9 (Corey
Jenkins) is in the game will not change our defensive philosophy."

On the significance of beating South Carolina this weekend:

"If you lose, words like mortuary and obituary come to mind. Around
here, it's a significant game. Personally, football is important and
it's a big part of my life. It is not the most important, however.
It's not going to initiate a slashing of the wrist or something of
that nature. But it's a big game. In the coaching profession, this
type of game is your largest game."

Overall feelings of this season:

"There have been some disappointments. But, unless you go
undefeated, there will always be disappointments. Expectations are
high, but you want to coach in a place where the expectations are
like that. You don't want to coach at a place with low expectations.
The biggest disappointment this year is probably the N.C. State game.
It was all the hype and national TV against an undefeated team and we
came out and did not perform very well. I have documentation to back
that up."

On the play of freshman cornerback Justin Miller:

"He's as good as I've ever seen as a true freshman, and I'm hearing
that comment from other coaches around the league. He's not so much
a good freshman corner, but it just a good corner period. He's got a
mean streak and is real aggressive. You can see why people recruited
him as a wide receiver. He's got great running skills, has good
hands and is very mature. I wish we had a bunch more like him. He's
had a very good year and has done it against good competition and
with style. He's been very impressive. This spring we will take a
look at also using him on offense."

On the running attack of South Carolina:

"They are pretty good at running the ball. They've had some success
this year. I think they had a good first half against Tennessee's
good defense. And they also had a good first half against LSU. I'm
sure they will try to run the football, and we will too. Everybody
tries to go out there and see what they can do with the running game.
Andrew Pinnock is an awful good back, he's been playing since he was
a true freshman. Their quarterback is another running back. They
have a similar scenario as to us last year, where the quarterback
running the ball can present a little bit of a problem."

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