Highlights from Tommy Bowden Press Conference

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Tommy Bowden Press Conference

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On Clemson's Defensive Speed

"Most teams' success is determined by how well the defense plays, especially points allowed. If you look at the games we've played this yearŠwhen fatigue sets in, speed is a factor. In a game like N.C. State, it's a missed tackle or batted ball or deflection or sack that could make a difference."

On Cornerback Tye Hill not playing running back this season.

"Tye is getting better every week at corner. I think between Reggie (Merriweather), Duane (Coleman), and Kyle (Browning)Šthose are body types similar to Tye's."

On North Carolina's Defense

" We've got five games left and it's our next conference game. They recruit like we do and we recruited some of their players and missed them. They're talented players. You never know when they're going to 'crank it up.' They've played some very talented teams. Arizona State is an outstanding offense, NC State is one of the top offenses in the nation.

On the Challenge of Motivating the Team After the narrow N.C. State loss.

"It is a challenge every week getting the team up. If you look at our team, I credit the seniors and the leadership of the team. We've played better each week. We played better against N.C. State than we did against Virginia even though we won the game. There was a point in the N.C. State game when we had five freshman on the offensive line. I think this team has realized that you have to come to play every game. And I think our scores have indicated that our team has come to play every Saturday."

On UNC Quarterback Darian Durant and his recruitment

"I remember him very well. I went in his home and visited him and his mom, and should have more aggressively recruited him. I thought we had a similar quarterback in Willie Simmons. We didn't want to stack up too many of the same guys physically. He's a very talented player. I recruited him only as a quarterback."

On urgency to bring back injured players

"I wouldn't save any player for any game. If the doctor clears them, they will play. I'd like to get them back as quick as possible, especially the skill guys."

On Charlie Whitehurt's progress

"He's played against some pretty strong competition. They're all good teams. Good teams are going to force good players into mistakes and make it difficult to execute. It was his 12th start (last week), so he's only put in a full red-shirt season, more or less. There's a learning curve and he's learning every game and making better decisions every game

QB Charlie Whitehurst

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LB John Leake

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OL Greg Walker

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DE Mo Fountain

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DB Jamaal Fudge

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