Bowden Not Concerned with Drop in Poll

The Clemson Tigers returned to practice Monday evening for the first time since Saturday's 37-30 double overtime victory over Wake Forest. The team practiced on the field turf for over two hours today in shorts and helmets.

Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said Monday that he isn't fazed by the drop in the AP rankings after his team's 37-30 double overtime win over Wake Forest.

"I'd say Wake Forest still doesn't have the respect that it deserves," said Bowden. "It really doesn't bother me because the rest of the conference has to deal with them now. Whoever's got them fourth, fifth, sixth, or seventh (on the schedule) has their eye on them.

"People are going to find out soon enough about Wake. It really doesn't bother me."

Tragedy in the Family
Bowden did not comment on the loss of his ex brother-in-law and his nephew in a car accident yesterday in Florida. The sixth year head coach is expected to have a press release regarding the situation in the next 24 hours.

"There's a hurricane down there right now," said Bowden. "So there's some uncertainty going on, but I suspect that we'll know something in the next 24 hours."

As it stands now, Bowden will remain with the team at least through Tuesday. How much time he could miss to attend the funeral is not yet known.

The following statement from Bowden was released earlier today:

"The loss of my brother-in-law, John Madden and my nephew, Bowden Madden is very difficult to accept because it is the first time we have had a death in the immediate family. I appreciate the calls and e-mails I have received from friends today and ask that you keep my sister Ginger and our family in your thoughts and prayers.

"It is especially difficult to deal with the loss of a 15-year-old nephew, who I had just seen at our family reunion this summer. Bowden was a football player and I had sent him Clemson work out gear. He was the only one with the courage to wear it at the family vacation. I am told he was wearing it at the time of the accident. The other nephews are all Florida State, but Bowden followed Clemson."

More Playing Time for Richardson?
Bowden hinted Monday evening that more playing time could be in store for true freshman Barry Richardson in the coming weeks.

Richardson saw time in the later stages of the game Saturday at left tackle.

"He only got in about eight or nine plays, but it was enough to where he needs to get some work," said Bowden of Richardson's performance on Saturday. "He did a really good job, and Jesse Pickens did a good job."

Bowden said that Pickens and Dukes technique wasn't as sharp, but he attributed that mainly to experience. As far as true freshman Akeem Robinson, who failed to get in the game at right tackle, Bowden said a decision regarding his status this season is close.

"We just have to make a decision whether to waste a redshirt year or not. Akeem is right there though."

Bowden went on to say that Robinson was "close" to being on the second team.

Georgia Tech Notes
Georgia Tech is expected to practice some this week in the Georgia Dome because of the remnants of Hurricane Frances moving over Atlanta.

When asked if he thought the Yellow Jackets didn't show much in a 21-point win over Samford on Saturday, Bowden said he didn't think so.

"I'd say they probably have more respect for Samford. I'd say they showed something," said Bowden. "You don't want to be losing to Wofford, Furman. I think what we will see (on Saturday) is what we are going to get, especially with what happened last year."

Clemson defeated the Yellow Jackets 39-3 last season at Bobby-Dodd Stadium.

Parting Shots
Yusef Kelly will probably start against Georgia Tech at running back, but Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning are expected to see an increase in reps...Bowden said after reviewing the film of the defense, he thought they could have done a better job tackling...The team is expecting to have to use the indoor track facility this week due to the remnants of Hurricane Frances...Finally, Bowden said that Jad Dean needs to do a better job on kickoffs.

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