Q&A with Tommy Bowden

Clemson head coach speaks with the ACC media.

Are you surprised that Maryland has struggled as much as they have, offensively, up to this point in the season?
Bowden: Yeah, you know just know his success offensively since he's been the head coach at Maryland. But again, usually every coach at some point in time is going to come across that type of obstacle. I just hope they experience difficulties one more week. That's all I'm hoping.

Given how explosive Miami looked last week, and how Florida State has played this year, are those two teams clearly the class of the league?
Bowden: I think all the preseason media polls and rankings have kind of had them separated from the pack and had a bunch of other people fighting for third. There's still a lot of football left to played even though that's kind of what we thought in the preseason. And then looking at the NFL draft, those guys are setting the standard.

Did you get the sense that Charlie Whitehurst was more settled down last week?
Bowden: Our running game was so productive. He wasn't put in a situation where the whole ball of wax was on his shoulders. He probably was. I think that's a natural occurrence when your running game is going that good. Florida State was a good indication versus Virginia when they got both of them (quarterbacks) going.

How do you keep them focused on simply executing your game plan when things aren't going well?
Bowden: That's kind of one the job descriptions of a coach. There's a 117 Division I-A teams and they all of high expectations. That's something we address every week. What we stress here is that you have to play the best you can play. You don't have to play perfect, but play the best you can play and then play then you did last week and one game at a time. You never know what's going to happen. The best example we use around here is the last year after the Wake Forest loss, how we turned it around and beat a very talented Florida State team. Our players have experienced that. You have to talk in the present and talk about what's coming ahead. You talk about improvement; you talk about playing better than last week. But what you mentioned is one of the more difficult things in coaching.

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