Tommy Bowden Weekly Press Conference

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Tommy Bowden - Real | Windows Media DB Justin Miller - Real | Windows Media DL Eric Coleman - Real | Windows Media DL Maurice Fountain - Real | Windows Media

Head Coach Tommy Bowden

"We are not belittling Coach Roof, the coaching staff, the Duke players, or their effort but Duke is a small private school with students that come from way far off. I know about the school, I
coached there for four years. Then when they graduate they settle all over the country so it is hard to draw big crowds. That environment is difficult because Duke is not like most schools in the
southeast where I'd say 90% of the fan base is within a three or four hour drive of the school."

"In our last 13 games we have beaten three top 10 teams in Florida State, Tennessee, and Miami. I think its more of an evolution over the past couple of year. Now with the West Zone project soon to be completed, tt will make us more of a complete package. The win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl 23 years ago was a benchmark win. I don't think that win Saturday night was quite that significant, but it certainly helped out a great deal for the future of this program."

"We are experiencing the same type of emotions and momentum swings as we did last year. We are also playing Duke again coming off an emotional win, but this year it is on the road. Nothing really has changed as far as practice schedule or anything, and I have had fast starts and slow starts in my coaching career. I can't explain it, but I am certainly happy we are on a winning streak."

"Coming back from a 1-4 start says a lot about the character of this team. Its comforting to know that they have a lot of fight deep down inside of them when their backs are against the wall. To get that
response two years in a row is good. You would rather not be in that situation to begin with, but we have been and we have responded well."

"Six of our last seven games at Duke have been decided by a touchdown or less. I don't know how many of our guys will remember 1989 when Clemson went down to Tallahassee and beat Florida State, but lost at Duke later in the year as the number-seven ranked team in the nation. Those are things that help put things in perspective. Most of our guys will remember the game up there two years ago when we won by three in the last few seconds."

"Sometimes its confidence, and sometimes you match up better with teams, but I don't really know what exactly it is that has helped us turn it on the past four games. I wish I knew what it was so maybe we could turn it on earlier in the season."

"Reggie Merriweather has become a more mature back. He has been steady. He is not exceptionally fast, but fast enough to get the job done. Looking back I regret not playing him at Virginia. He has a great personality and we are looking forward to his continued improvement."

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