Tommy Bowden Press Conference, Windows Media, (19:42)
Q: You seem to be more pointed in what needs to be improved on your team. Is that message more for your team or your critics?
A: “I don’t know what their (critics) complaints would be. I know the critics are out there. The comments I have made are in response to what I have seen on film, my own evaluation.
Q: Are your coaches involved in your message to the team?
A: “Yes. We discuss things in the staff meetings. Anytime there are things you have to address, there’s a protocol. There are certain things you do at practice to make sure they are getting it. I don’t want to sound like I’m not happy with a conference win. We beat a conference team for the fifth straight time to tie a school record in the history for the series. So, it’s not that I’m unhappy with what we’ve done. I’m looking at where have to go and the improvement we’ve got make this week. Improvement should come from week to week.”
Q: What needs to improve on your team?
A: “We have some tackling issues. N.C. State only had three points. If we take away their touchdown on defense, we would have won 27-3. That’s better than last year (won by 22 in 2007). But, the fundamentals of tackling would be the biggest thing. Anytime you have new offensive linemen, there is hesitation involved. You have to make a decision is split seconds when you’re on the offensive line. It takes a bunch of work. So they have to go out there at practice and work against the defense. You have to be patient, but you have to force the issue with your players because you play a game every week. If we want to remain in the hunt (for a conference title), then we have to keep working.”
Q: South Carolina State talent.
A: “We had our team meeting yesterday and I let Billy Napier talk to them because he used to coach over at South Carolina State. We recruited Julius Wilkerson and their quarterback Malcolm Long. We signed Phillip Morris.. I’m more familiar with their team (as oppose to other FCS teams) because we recruited some of their players.”
Q: Michael Hamlin and his brothers Markee and Marquais.
A: “We came close to recruiting Markee (Hamlin). I feel for their mother. I know what my mother goes through when my father and I play. The brothers are going to have a lot of fun. I just hope we have the Hamlin that is the best tackler, but I am not sure. I have seen Markee on film and he is an outstanding player.”
Q: South Carolina State’s running back William Ford.
A: “I’m very familiar with him. He’s from Traveler’s Rest (SC) and we recruited him. We also recruited the running back from Greenville High School, Travil Jamison. Those are guys who are very talented.”
Q: South Carolina State’s quarterback Malcolm Long.
A: “He’s a big guy. He’s a guy you can’t arm tackle. He has a really good arm and has thrown a lot. He threw in high school and in passing camps. He’s very accurate.”
Q: How did this game come about?
A: “When I originally came here, my intentions were that if we were going to play a Division I-AA school, it would be an in-state school. That way we could keep the money in the state. The administration really did all the negotiating. They have a great tradition and history along with some pro guys. They have three former players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
Q: C.J. Spiller’s improvement this season.
A: “He reminds me more of his freshman year as opposed to his sophomore year. When you come in as a high-profile freshman, you have to earn everything you get. There has been a noticeable sense of urgency his freshman year and this year. He has worked hard all three years. It looks like he’s a little hungrier this year. He’s averaging eight yards per carry.”
RB C.J. Spiller, Windows Media, (3:50)
QB Cullen Harper, Windows Media, (3:35)
DB Michael Hamlin, Windows Media, (5:04)