Open Date has Good Timing
Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said Sunday that the open date comes at a good time for his team, especially after four tough ball games to open the season.
"It really comes at a good time for us," said Bowden. "It's one thing where if you are winning a lot of games in a row, you don't like to see it, but after four tough games against some pretty good competition, it's good."
Bowden also said that a re-evaluation of the entire team will take place during the off week, but not to expect widespread changes across the board.
"We've been running this offense for eight years, and it works," Bowden said. "So we'll re-evaluate some things, but I don't think it's necessarily a problem with the scheme."
After yesterday's five turnovers against FSU, the Tigers now rank dead last in Division I-A in turnover margin. On the season, Clemson has 12 turnovers as a team, and only one takeaway.
"That's obviously a concern for us. We've moved the ball pretty good, but the turnovers really hurt you," added Bowden. "The fact that we're minus 12 in turnovers this year, I would say that's the key. The defense, as far as stopping the run, I thought we did that pretty well yesterday until we got tired."
Florida State dominated the time of possession on Saturday, holding the ball for almost twice the time that Clemson did (38:33 to 21:27).
Schedule Doesn't Get Easier
The Tigers first four games of the 2004 season have difficult at times, but keep in mind the strength of schedule has played a major factor thus far.
"We've played some good football teams. I don't think Wake has lost since they played us. Georgia Tech, I don't think played this weekend," said Bowden. "Florida State has one loss, they're a pretty good team. Texas A&M is a good team, so I think we've played some good opponents."
Unfortunately, things won't be getting any easier in the coming weeks as Clemson travels to play 12th ranked Virginia next Thursday night on ESPN. The Tigers also still have a road trip to Miami, and home games against Maryland and N.C. State.
The Tigers will have Monday off before heading back to the practice fields on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to prepare for the following week's Thursday night game at Virginia...Bowden said that the open week should also allow some of his defensive players to add some of the weight back on that they had before the start of two-a-days in August, particularly Trey Tate, Charles Bennett, and Donnell Clark. Clark now weighs 253 pounds, down from his depth chart listing of 265, while Tate is in the 260s from his listing of 275.
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