Postgame Press Conference Quotes

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Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden Post Game Quotes

On today's play

"First of all, I want to say, coming back 1-4 off the schedule that we have, I really appreciate the fan support that we had. It was Homecoming and the university does a great job, just having the fans out there. We really needed them at times. [ think the way we won the game, defensively with a near shutout. We had minus 20 yards rushing, the most in Clemson history against a Division I-A opponent. We held them to 60 total. yards going into that last drive. We had Michael' Dean Perry and Levan Kirkland speak to the team on Thursday and the defense played like they talked, like they remembered the way things used to be here. Defense was a major factor in the win. We had our third blocked punt this year. Our schedule has just been very unforgiving. There are some teams who have played teams like this and not played well and won, early in their season, so they can get some confidence. We just weren't afforded that luxury. I was real pleased with how we played

On today's playmakers

"Duane Coleman and Reggie Merriweather both ran the ball well. Coach Burton Burns has done a good job with them. We had some good blocking up front, but they ran through some arms and did great a job. Michael Collins is a very unselfish player. He works hard, shows up, and doesn't complain. He has not played much. He had four career catches before today's game and he had six today. He's a great example of how hard work eventually pays off"

On defensive play

"John Lovett and the defensive staff did an excellent job. Anytime you play a
team whose main formation doesn't have a back, it's very challenging. I thought the defensive staff did a great job as far as getting the players lined up and playing with a lot of emotion and enthusiasm. There was a chance at halftime for some fingers to be pointed defensively at the offense for their performance, but they didn't do it. They just turned it up another notch. I was really pleased with the way they played."

On winning a game

"It's been a long time since we've had that taste and a lot of teams have played teams like this early on in the season. They had that test and got confidence. The win will help keep the players' attention focused ""

Utah State Head Coach Mick Dennehy Post Game Quotes

On game status at halftime:

"We thought that we were where we needed to he at halftime, trailing TO. But then it doesn't take too many plays to change a ballgame. Their quarterback (Charlie Whitehurst) made some good scrambles for first downs, and then we had some untimely penalties on special teams."

On game in general:

"1 thought that we played well at times. We had our hands full up front. The battle between our offensive line and Clemson's defensive line was the difference in the game. They were just the better team today."

On blocked punt:

"They had already come close (to blocking a punt) several times earlier in the game. They gave us more problems today than anyone else has all season. We thought that we had made some adjustments, but they continued to get pressure. Clemson's defensive lineman (Gaines Adams) made a great play to block the kick."

On halfback pass on first drive:

"Obviously, that play is not a staple play of what we do, but at the time I thought that it was the right call. We felt that they were pulling guys up to support the run, and we had a good chance to complete the pass. I think our receiver was open, he (Peter Shields) just put too much air on the pass. That would have been nice to get on the scoreboard first."

Clemson Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst

"A win in is a win. We struggled in the first half offensively, but played much better in the second 20 minutes. It just feels really good to win. We needed this win, any win to give us some confidence heading into next week."

Clemson Wide Receiver Michael Collins

"It felt great to make a contribution catching the football. The coaches had confidence in me and Charlie did a great job of finding me when I was open. A game like this really has me looking ahead. It gives me confidence that I can make a difference and it gives the coaches confidence to call my number."

Clemson Defensive Tackle Cory Groover

"Coach Lovett and the defensive coaches put us in the right situations all day long. Our defense today showed what we can accomplish. We had a good week of practice and it showed today. Now we have to build on it and get ready for Maryland. Nothing is going to be easy, but we have the confidence to make it happen."

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