Tommy Bowden Weekly Press Conference Highlights
Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden's comments on:
The importance of Clemson being able to win a close game
"At some point and time your team is going to have play a close game. You never know how they are going to react until they are placed in that situation so there was a little doubt of how they would respond on Saturday. I was really pleased with the response of our team in a close game against NC State. They gained great confidence from that game and I think that next time they are placed in that situation they will feel more comfortable with the potential they have to respond."
Lamont Jordan and the Maryland offense
"NC State used the pass to set up the run but Maryland seems to be almost the exact opposite. They really try to establish the run first and then the pass. They had a tremendous amount of success against our defense last year and I am sure that they will use a similar game plan this year. Jordan embarrassed us last year so it is going to be very important that we stop him first. They have the same staff and many of the same players as last year so I expect them to come here on Saturday with confidence in their game plan."
Clemson's strategy on offense against Maryland
"They do not take many chances on defense. Very rarely do they blitz and put themselves in a position to give up the big play. I would say that we are going to have to methodically execute the ball down the field as opposed to them playing tight man coverage and us potentially getting big plays. It is a sound defense if you get good field position because the odds will be against us if we have to drive the ball 80 yards every time."
Trying to keep his team from looking ahead
"There is no doubt that trying to keep the team focused is a big part of our jobs as coaches. The players read the newspapers and watch TV and they hear all the good things that are being said about them. I must say, though, that they have handled everything very well so far. Our senior leadership has been good and I think that they understand that from here on out every week is a one game season. If we can get that point across to them then we have a chance to be successful but it is something that needs to be addressed on a daily basis."
The little things a team must do to go from being a contender to being a championship team
"A very important piece of the puzzle is being able to take a one game at a time approach. That is more mental than physical and it is something that we are constantly talking to our team about. We are not real sharp in special teams right now and that will probably be a factor from here on out. Turnovers and giving up big plays are also areas that we need to eliminate before we can become a championship type caliber team."
The importance of the crowd against NC State
"I thought the fans were a critical part of the win on Saturday. They were loud the whole game and anytime you can come out to pregame warmup with that type of atmosphere it really helps your team. There were many big plays in the game and I think the energy of our fans allowed our team to play at slightly higher level on many of those plays."