Tommy Bowden Press Conference

Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden met with the media Monday afternoon to discuss the Tigers' postseason opponent in the Tennessee Volunteers. The two teams are scheduled to play in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl on January 2nd, 2004.

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Bowden Comments
On what Tennessee is playing for
"There's a lot of incentive on the table for us and them. They played in the game last year and didn't have a real good showing. They've also won 6 games in a row. Because of what happened last year and because they are 6th or 7th in the nation and beat Miami, there is going to be a lot more on the table for them than just to beat Clemson."

On initial thoughts about Tennessee
"The fact that they are sixth or seventh in the nation is pretty significant. They are a real physical team. Defensively, they are really big. Big corners, big safeties, big linebackers. They are probably a little better looking than Florida State."

On what a win for Clemson would mean
"We could break into the top 25 if we were to win and we've got a lot of players coming back next year. So that would help us heading into working in January."

On recruiting against Tennessee
"They come here a lot. We recruit a lot against Tennessee, but not necessarily head to head where it comes down to head-to-head with Clemson and Tennessee. Michael Collins, Chansi Stuckey, we've had a couple of guys come down to us and Tennessee, but not many. Now we've lost a lot of players to Tennessee, they've had some more success recently than what we've had, so we are familiar with them."

Why has it been so long since Clemson and Tennessee have played?
"You know I don't know. I don't do the scheduling so I'm not sure."

You have 3 common opponents with Tennessee (Duke, Georgia, South Carolina), does that help with preparations?
"We'll study similar offenses against their defense."

Do you anticipate having all of your assistant coaches for the bowl game?
"Yes, at this point in time, but we don't play for another 3 or 4 weeks. This is the time of year that they are given some opportunities. They'll field some phone calls and look at the opportunities out there and see if the grass is greener on the other side. My policy is just for them to let me know. I don't want to find out it in the papers. Most of the people who have left here are either for (coaching) titles or money."

Bowl practice schedule
"There will be 14 practices- 9 before the Christmas break, and then 5 in Atlanta. I get my father's schedule, who as an NCAA record for bowl records and xerox it. Shells, full pads, and length will vary a little bit."

Any concerns with a month and half layoff?
"Not really. In 27 years I've been an assistant or a head coach, that's always been the case."

Should Currie be a 100% for the game, and what about Williamson?
"We've got a meeting on Friday, and I'd have to ask Danny. I saw Airese the other day, and he was a little hobbled, but hopefully he'll be all right. Bobby should be alright, but right now I'm not sure."

Did Anthony McDaniel (eventual Tennessee signee) commit to you guys last year?
"Yes. He committed a long time before signing day."

What about Eric Young (another Tennessee signee)?
"I think he committed to about 4 or 5 schools."

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