Tommy Bowden Tuesday Press Conference

by - Correspondent -

Tommy Bowden Press Conference, Windows Media, (35:17)

OL Marion Dukes, Windows Media, (4:11)

RB C.J. Spiller, Windows Media, (6:02)

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden:

Playing in Charlotte:

"It is much better. To play here close helps from a traveling standpoint and a fan standpoint. I'm real appreciative of the administration, whoever initiated getting the game moved to Charlotte. I had talked to their (Temple) head coach and he was in favor of it. I just want to encourage our fans to come out.

"Our fans have been great. We have struggled at Wake Forest the last two times we went and they still came back there this year.

Dealing with injuries and special teams problems:

"We've had an unusual amount (of injuries) and the guys are so substantial. Rendrick Taylor (sophomore wide receiver), instead of getting a bruised arm or a sprained shoulder, he's got a broken, arm and he's out for the year. Etta Etta-Tawo (red-shirt freshman defensive tackle), instead of just having a cold or something to take him out a week to 10 days, he's out for the season. He had played well in every game. Defensive linemen are really difficult to get. Those things can have a negative affect on a team as far as week after week after week, but our team so far
from the leadership within has drawn together. We've performed pretty well. We went to Wake Forest and had four turnovers (on offense) against an undefeated team on the road and won the game."

Team being susceptible to an upset:

"Yes, they're Division I-A. Montana State (who beat Colorado) was I-AA. Richmond shut Duke out and they're I-AA. This (Temple) is a I-A team with 85 scholarships, and if we go out there unemotional with very little intensity and turn the ball over or if they return a kick and get good field position, then all of a sudden it's a game. All of a sudden they (Temple) get a lot of confidence.

On the Gameplan against Temple:

"We are going to do some things against Temple that we would do if we were playing Temple or Georgia Tech under the circumstances we've had with injuries at wide receiver with Chansi (Stuckey) and Rendrick (Taylor) out. So whether we're playing Temple or Georgia Tech Thursday, for either one we would attempt to do what we're going to attempt to do as far as distribution of the ball. Defensively, he's (Temple Head Coach Al Golden) been playing a lot of young guys. I think they're going to be enthusiastic."

On win against Wake Forest:

"We talk about the fact that we haven't played our best yet. We rushed for 214 yards and they were giving up 78. They're a really good run defense. We gave up four possessions on turnovers. If you get 20 yards per possession, then that's 300 yards rushing against 60. That's a better game, and when you play your best, that's what you do. Defensively, we held them to 219 overall and 31 yards rushing. Just a couple of missed assignment and we could have held them to a little over a 100. We have not played our best in kickoff coverage, we haven't in returning punts, so we go into every game saying play better than your last one."

On the injuries to the wide receivers:

"We only have one ball and we use three tight ends a good bit. Our wide outs have been depleted. We have five good receivers and now two of them (Stuckey and Taylor) are gone. We've still got Tyler Grisham (sophomore wide receiver), who made some great catches against Florida State and Boston College. We've got Aaron Kelly (red-shirt sophomore wide receiver) who is pretty talented. We've got La'Donte Harris (junior wide receiver) and Jacoby Ford (freshman wide receiver), who had four catches against Wake Forest."

On freshman running back C.J. Spiller:

"I think I saw him drop his first pass last night. He has unbelievable hands. I don't know if Southern Cal knew it or not, but I could see why they recruited him so hard to replace (Reggie) Bush, who also had good hands. The Boston College game obviously cemented some facts. He showed consistency. It showed that he could do it (catch the ball) against a great defense instead of at practice with the scout team. He's got tailback running skills and wide receiver hands."

On defensive end Gaines Adams:

"He's done really well. He's stepped up. He's the sack leader in the conference and ninth in the country. After six games, it's (causing a fumble and returning it for a touchdown against Wake Forest) been the play-of-the-year for us."

On freshman wide receiver Jacoby Ford:

"Chansi Stuckey might be the hardest practice player we have, and Ford is behind him. So he has been starting to mimic some of his work habits, which is really good in a young guy. He's shown some things that let us know early that he's ready to play."

On the status of injured linebacker Tramaine Billie:

" I believe is going to try to attempt to play. I'm going to try and talk him out of it. He just got his pin out yesterday, so he will start light jogging today. He may start practicing next Monday. I'll do my best to talk him out of it, but again only he and his family can make that decision. When they make a decision I will support it."

Quick notes and quotes from Tommy Bowden's regular Tuesday press conference:

- Like the setup of playing in Charlotte. Close by, really in favor of it. Thank our administration for getting it done.

- Appreciate the fans who showed up Saturday. Now asking them to come back again on Thursday.

- Looking forward to getting a couple of extra days to work on Georgia Tech.

- Sold over 30,000 tickets. Expecting pretty good walkup. If we get 40,000 or so, that's better than 12,000 or less we might have gotten at Temple.

- Injuries and adversity: Injuries so substantial. Those things can have a negative effect on a team week after week. But our team so far has kind of drawn together. Speaks of our leadership.

- Could you lose this game?: Oh yeah. If you go up there and turn it over, play without emotion, give up a kick return. Yeah, you can lose this game.

- Have not done a good job of fielding punts. Had two rookies back there and we've asked them to be a little cautious. But we can do a better job. Probably two of those at Wake Forest we should have fielded.

- Letdown: This would be the environment to have one.

- We've talked about the fact that we haven't played our best yet. We haven't. Not in kickoff coverage, not in returning punts. We go into each game saying 'Let's play our best.'

- Wide receiver depth: Guys have to step up, but I want to get the ball to the best guy. There will be some scheme adjustments.

- Gaines Adams: Don't know what his stats are right now. How much his run defense has improved you'd have to ask Ron or Vic. But he's really stepped it up. Sack leader in the conference and ninth in the country.

- Kickoff coverage coaching: Same coaches are doing it, but we're doing some different practice work and techniques. Breakdowns have been consistent. We've got to change some things.

- Billie getting pin out today. Start light jogging. Maybe can start practicing on Monday. Will try to talk him out of it, but I'll support whatever he and his family decide.

- Temple: Multiple on offense, which could create some confusion. Youth movement on defense. He's playing a lot of freshmen.

- Cutting practice back a bit. Only one day in pads. Trying to save their legs.

- Working both Jad Dean and John Early at kicker this week. No one has an advantage yet.

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