Bowden's Sunday Teleconference

<img src=> Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden met with the media Sunday afternoon for his weekly regular season press conference.

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What do you think it says about the conference that North Carolina beat Miami and Maryland beat FSU Saturday?
Bowden: Yeah you know, it shows what kind of conference we've got. You knew Maryland was a good team, they had played well before. North Carolina, I was glad to see they weren't on our schedule. It didn't really surprise me because Florida State has escaped some games. Maryland has three 10 wins seasons and some good recruiting classes, you just knew they would turn it around. It shows a lot about the overall strength of the conference.

Is Charlie Whitehurst okay?
Bowden: We won't meet with the trainer (today).We'll meet with the trainer early in the morning. But I think Charlie's alright.

What was wrong with him?
Bowden: He got dinged up on that one sack early in the game. I think it was just an immediate (thing). After that, I think he was alright.

How does the fact that Miami lost last night impact your game next Saturday?
Bowden: I don't think it will impact it. There's two ways to look at it. You can look at it like they are going to be mad, or look at it like it's a chink the armor. So really it doesn't make any difference which way it is. I don't think it will have much of an impact on the game.

Where is this team now, compared to the 1-4 team you had three weeks ago?
Bowden: I think the key has been that we've elevated to another notch defensively. We've been really productive on defense. Offense, we are still making too many mistakes. I don't want to make excuses, we've got to better on offense, but we are playing some pretty good defenses. Virginia Tech and Maryland weren't nearly as productive against N.C. State's defense. They are going to create some difficulties. We still need to raise it to another notch offensively. I think our players have done a good job. I talked to our players the Friday night; we were 1-4 and leading Utah State 7-0 at halftime. Then next week, we are down at half, 7-3. So this team has had a couple of opportunities to pack it in, and they have not at all. You look at all of our games, they were all close, late in the 3rd quarter. Instead of putting it together offensively like the last first few games, we turned it over. Which to me, has been the difference. So they haven't quit, and I think it says a lot about the team.

Is it hard to figure out just how you'll use Justin Miller on offense?
Bowden: You have to be kind of creative. Obviously we can't give it to him exactly the same way against N.C. State because they will watch the tape and have a plan. And then he's kind of limited as far as what he can do with his routes and anything that involves coverage reads. He doesn't have the time develop a feel for the position.

How did you feel your offensive line performed yesterday?
Bowden: They really did pretty good. We had some missed assignments early when we got in the no backs set. One of them, they brought more guys than we had, but one of them we should have picked up. He took some shots early that he didn't need to take. Barry Richardson might have played his best game. Chip Myrick is playing a whole bunch better and will probably get more action. Chip will probably see more action this week. Dustin Fry also played more than 20 snaps. We played nine guys on the offensive line.

Does it help your team focus a little more this week because you are playing a team like Miami, and because you are on a three game winning streak?
Bowden: The three game winning streak definitely helps, but the fact that we are playing a program like Miami on national television. It means a lot to play a program of that caliber. Just the fact that we are playing them, our players should be extremely focused, and excited. Top Stories