Highlights From Tommy Bowden's Weekly Press Conference

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Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden on....

On the play of his defense against Georgia:

"I thought the defense played real well. I don't think we gave up
any big plays. We played very aggressively and intense the whole
game. There was really good effort from sideline to sideline. I
thought that was pretty indicative. As you watched the course of the
game, as far as the number of people we had around the football, was
good. Last year I think Georgia averaged 430 yards per game and had
something like eight starters back on offense, and John and the
defense held them to 203. You look and see 31 points, but seven of
them were on defense, seven were on a 15-yard drive. They had the
ball on the short end of the field a whole bunch."

On differences between John Lovett and Reggie Herring:

"Reggie's philosophy and John's are probably reversed. John would
probably be zone first and blitz second, whereas Reggie would
probably blitz first. If you look at Saturday's game, that was
probably what happened. If you can have success with the people up
front versus the run, you can have success. It helps if you can play
a lot of zone on passing situations."

On the cornerback situation due to injury to Toure Francis:

"You will have to check with John (Lovett) to see what we are going
to do. Justin Miller has made good progress. His role will increase
from week to week and Toure's injury will just speed up the process.
Kevin Johnson played well at Georgia."
Note: Later in the day Lovett said Johnson would start.

On the punting situation for Clemson:

"Until I get a more consistent performance from our punter (Wynn
Kopp), we're going to make it more competitive in practice. If the
second-team guy (Cole Chason) were to show some consistency and get
the confidence of this staff, then we would be more likely to try him
in the game this week."

On the game-tying field goal attempt against Georgia last week:

"It was a little bit of a high snap, but Aaron Hunt still should have
made the kick. I thought Geoff Rigsby, for his first game snapping
for us to come on national TV, did a really good job. If he keeps
performing like he did, then we are going to have to find a
scholarship later."

On the possibility of emotional letdown against Louisiana Tech:

"That is the biggest thing about this sport. You better be at an
emotional peak every Saturday regardless of the competition. I was
talking with the team yesterday, and made them aware that East
Carolina lost to Duke, Kentucky upset Louisville. The point being
you better be ready from week to week, especially with a team like
this. If they get behind, their offense is tailor-made to come from
behind. But yes, that is one of the hardest things about coaching."

On his overall feeling after the loss to Georgia:

"I think that the most encouraging thing is that defense is the name
of the game at any level of football. To get to the championship
level, you have to be really good on defense. I was real pleased
with the performance Saturday and it looks like we're headed in that
direction. Now the biggest question mark is to not show flashes of
good play, but be consistent. I see a lot of potential on offense.
"Willie Simmons' first career start was typical. He did some good
things and he did some bad things. There are some things that will
have to be eliminated though. He has not shown me anything in three
years that makes me believe he won't be able to correct those things."

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