Tommy Bowden and CMU's Butch Jones Quotes
Head Coach Tommy Bowden:
On having a bye last week
"The biggest thing is injuries. We had a lot of them. Had we played last Saturday, we would have been without two starting safeties, three starting linemen, and various other personnel. So, it (the bye week) really came at a good time. I think we're going to get most of those guys back by Saturday. (only Rendrick Taylor was still in a yellow jersey on Monday) That has been a priority. Extra work on special teams was another priority during the open date."
Playing Central Michigan
"This team won 10 games last season. They've scored 100 points in the last two games. They had a first-rounder last year. We don't know much about them. They have a bunch of guys on their team that know how to win and feel comfortable. With parity (in football) and what goes on from week to week, you better bring your 'A' game every week. So, we're going to prepare to bring our 'A' game and anticipate bringing our 'A' game."
On Central Michigan's offense with first-year Head Coach Butch Jones
"It will be very similar (to that of West Virginia's offense). They'll do some quarterback running plays and try that zone read. A lot of the same things (from West Virginia) they brought with them. Their quarterback is outstanding. They are the best passing team we have faced so far this year. It will be a challenge for our offense."
On the team's attitude
"We worked hard last week even with it being an open date. We came out pretty good yesterday for not having school and having the weekend off. I'm anxious to see how we bounce back and how we play for the second half of the season. I would to see us finish this season with a little more balance (on offense) than we have shown so far."
On the offensive line
"We've got to continue to work. Halfway through the year, we have four new starters. I think if we continue to work hard and we're sound then we'll improve. We've played some pretty good teams and that's going to have some bearing on offensive productivity and defensive productivity. We have played the top three scoring defenses in the league so far (Florida State, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech). Young players have come in. Cory Lambert played 20+ plays versus Virginia Tech when Barry Richardson went down early in the first quarter. Thomas Austin played 20 plays at center last week and 94 overall. He is a sophomore. I know Bobby Hutchinson because of injuries played a whole bunch."
On Clemson's passing game
"Last year at this time we could not line up and throw the ball consistently down the field to win a game. And this year that is the one thing we've worked on hard and done the best. I think we did it against a quality team in Virginia Tech, enough to move the ball down the field and score and put us in a position to have a chance to win the game. Had C.J. Spiller not gone out of bound we would have been within eight points in the fourth quarter. So, we've worked hard on that. We're not as productive running the ball, but we're more productive throwing the ball efficiently. I think that will definitely help us. Had we had this ability last year, I think we would have been a little bit more productive down the stretch."
On James Davis' and C.J. Spiller's attitude
"I'm sure there is a little frustration on their part, just like last year towards the end of the season when we weren't throwing the ball productively, there was a little frustration on the part of the wide receivers. I think that's fairly normal, especially for skill people. I think anytime you're an eligible receiver, you can get frustrated. We're going to have to find some ways to help them get productive. We've played some pretty good defenses."
On James Davis
"He's going to be healthier this week. He was not one of the guys who would have played this week had we played. We practice pretty physically, but it's not like during a game. The fact that we didn't play on Saturday is going to make everyone a little more healthy."
CMU head coach Butch Jones
On the Clemson game:
?Clemson poses a great challenge for us. This will be the biggest challenge we?ve had to date. We?re facing a great football team in one of the greatest venues in all of college football. This will be the loudest environment we play in all season and will be another physical football game for our team. I?m looking forward to seeing how our kids react to playing in that setting.?
On CMU?s 47-23 win over Army on Saturday was its third straight after a 1-3 start:
?I think the biggest difference has been the development of that mentality. Guys are straining on every single snap and playing to the whistle. We take great pride in our physical and mental conditioning, and our kids are playing with passion and just having fun right now.?
On sophomore quarterback Dan LeFevour
?He?s playing with a tremendous amount of confidence right now. One of the marks of a great player is that he elevates the games of others around him, and Dan has certainly elevated our offense. He is managing the game extremely well and is doing a great job moving the ball with his arm and his legs. His ability to run the football gives us an added dimension in our offense.?
On the CMU defense:
?That is a unit that from the start has been hampered by injuries. We?re starting to get some guys back now. Our younger kids have really improved from a mental aspect, and we?ve gotten great leadership from our older players on defense. I can?t say enough about the improvement we?ve had on defense. Our kids are learning what it means to strain on every snap, and they?re learning that the harder the play, the more good things are going to happen for them.?
On the rest of the season
?I told the team that now we?ve put ourselves in a position where every game is important the rest of the season. The more games we win, the higher the stakes become each week. Every game is a big game the rest of the way, and we are going to need great toughness and conditioning, both physical and mental, to be successful.?