Tommy Bowden Press Conference

<img src=> Clemson head Coach Tommy Bowden met with the media Tuesday morning to discuss the Tigers' upcoming game with the Duke Blue Devils and the Tigers' possibilities during the postseason.

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   Tommy Bowden Press Conference (Real Audio Available Soon)

Talk about the improvement on defense last week.
Bowden: It all starts on the defensive side of the ball. We've taught that from day one. We may not have always had the results we wanted. But last weekend, we did a 3 and out on the first series, and that really set the momentum. Defensively, it started there.

How long have you known Ted Roof?
Bowden: When I coached at Duke in the early 1980's he was an excellent linebacker at Georgia Tech, and that's where he first got my attention. I've always followed him because I've always thought he would be a great coach. He's always caught my attention. Every coach has a different personality, and his is probably different that Carl, whether that be good or bad. He brings something different to the table, and maybe that's a light at the end of the tunnel. They played N.C. State 27-21 and then Tennessee and then it kind of snowballed. I think that's what's happened. It looks like he's a very worthy candidate of that position.

How did the defense turn this thing around so quickly?
Bowden: That type (Wake Forest's) of offense is difficult to prepare for in a 3 to 4 day period. It's not normal. It didn't surprise me that Wake Forest had success. It surprised me at the amount of success they had. Florida State was an entirely different scenario.

How do you avoid this becoming a "trap game?"
Bowden: It's a trap game because of the simple fact you've beaten them four years in a row. Just like my father said, it's a trap game. You can't beat everybody forever. Sooner or later the percentages catch up with you. It is that type of game though.

Do ever feel like that you don't need this kind of unfair backlash from the fans?
Bowden: As I mentioned earlier, the best scenario is that we have a president and an athletic director that makes those decisions (about coaching). I'll prepare for Duke like I did against Florida State and Georgia and everybody else on the schedule.

The comment made about the Demetris Summers about not coming to Clemson last year- can you speak to that?
Bowden: As I've mentioned several times there are different pieces of the puzzle when it comes to recruiting these guys. Distance, social life, facilities, the team. You know there's a different button on everyone. As a recruiting coach you have to find that button. We didn't find it.

Can you talk about the differences in the attitude between this week and last week at this time?
Bowden: The guy that cleans my bathroom cleaned it this week. I think the last four games he hasn't really done that. (laughing) You know that makes a difference when he does that and you have a clean shower.

It's possible to play on New Year's day now, have you talked about that with your team?
Bowden: I've talked to my team about one thing. 7. We've got to get 7. I think 7 is a lucky number in the Bible. 7 is big. I haven't talked having 8 or 9 or playing here or there.

What's Yusef Kelly's status this week? And talk about the development of Duane Coleman.
Bowden: He's gotten better every week. He's learning to run a little bit better from tackle to tackle and he's running to green space. He's learning how to run north-south and learning how to finish the run. Yusef Kelly is healthy. We had momentum against FSU and I didn't want to break that rhythm. It was nothing Yusef did, but he could get in this week.

Does it help you prepare for Duke now that they've beaten Georgia Tech?
Bowden: There's no doubt. Yes, it got my attention. They barely lost to N.C. State 27-21, they played Tennessee tough on the road, and then we all saw what happened last weekend.

If Mississippi State or North Carolina came calling would you listen to them?
Bowden: You'd have to ask me after the season.

Is Derrick Hamilton the best all around athlete you've ever coached?
Bowden: He is at Clemson. He's got all the records. But he can do better. He really can. If he gets polished and fine tuned, I think he can really benefit next year. Top Stories