Tigers to Play Loose
Heading into the biggest game of the year against the number one ranked Florida State Seminoles, the Tigers appear not to be intimidated. “I think that my players will be very loose and relaxed while I am unsure about Florida State,” said Tommy Bowden. “No one expects us to win and we are like a seventeen or twenty point underdog, so I am just going to enjoy the game as much as I can. Three or four years from now I will feel pressure, but right now I don’t feel any pressure.” In fact, Bowden recalls being more nervous before the Maryland game.
Warrick at Point Guard???
When Tommy Bowden was asked after practice about the ongoing Peter Warrick situation, he jokingly said, “I don’t know if he is going to play. I wish someone
would make a decision. Isn’t Warrick a basketball player or a point guard or something?”
Tired of the Media Attention?
Media from all other the country has been focused on the Bowden family this week. Is Tommy Bowden weary of all the questions about his family and his past? “I think that this will be a very positive thing for Clemson University, my employer, where I hope to be employed for a while,” he said. ”People from Chicago, New York, and around the coast will hear about this so this national exposure will help tremendously with recruiting.”
The Tigers usually bring out the orange pants for big games.
Asked whether Clemson will wear anything special, Bowden replied, “I think I’ll wear an orange shirt and tan pants."
Movie and Popcorn for Bobby Bowden
Last year Tommy's son, Ryan, attended John Curtis Christian High School in New Orleans where they won the 4-A state championship, losing a total of one game. The Bowden family will watch Ryan play for Daniel High School tomorrow against Travelers Rest. “I’ll probably watch the first half and then I have work to do," Tommy Bowden said. "My father can go out the whole time and go watch a movie and get some popcorn. Do whatever he wants to do.” If Daniel High wins the state championship again this year then Ryan Bowden will have three state championship rings.
Tommy and the One-Armed Receiver
In Tommy Bowden's playing days he once had to defend a one-armed receiver. “Who is going to cover a one arm guy? Would you? You going to throw him the ball? This was what was going in my mind until a twenty-five yard play action pass went over my head," Bowden recalled. "I gave him a high five when he went by me and scored and they actually won the game off of that. We were undefeated until that horrible play and they won their first game.” The receiver is now is a very successful doctor.
Entering Saturdays game, Florida State had won seven straight against Clemson and lead the all-time series 10-2. The Tigers last defeated the Seminoles in 1989, when linebacker Wayne Simmons returned an interception for a critical touchdown in Clemson’s 34-23 victory in Tallahassee. The Tigers have never defeated Florida State in Death Valley.
While the Clemson coaching staff’s connections to Florida State have been highly publicized, Seminole defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews reverses the trend with his Clemson experience. Andrews was a secondary coach at Clemson from 1977-1980 under head coach Charlie Pell and later Danny Ford.
The Tiger offense has only one way to go after last year’s 48-0 loss to the Seminoles: up. Clemson was held to only 129-yards of total offense and five first downs in the lopsided affair.
Although Clemson has 11 players from the state of Florida on its roster, cornerback Alex Ardley has a little more on the line when Clemson lines up against Florida State. The sophomore grew up in Tallahassee, the very heart of Seminole country. Last season as a freshman, Ardley gave up a 48-yard touchdown pass to Peter Warrick in front of his hometown crowd as the Seminoles in the second quarter. Although Warrick won’t be playing, Ardley will certainly be looking for a measure of revenge against his hometown nemesis.
The Bowden Model
Tommy Bowden only needs to look as far as his father to find a model to build a national powerhouse. Bobby Bowden’s list of accomplishments has been astonishing since arriving in Tallahasse in 1976, amassing a 215-51-4 record. The Seminoles have won at least ten games in ten straight seasons, an NCAA football record. Florida State has been to a bowl game for 15 years running, with the past eleven being New Year’s Day bowls. Bobby Bowden also holds the coaching record for most consecutive bowl victories with eleven, from 1985-1996.