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Tommy Bowden Teleconference (13:31)
What do you do this week to try and prevent the hangover this week similar to what happened after Georgia Tech?
Bowden: Well I think South Carolina will help us because we are playing them. After the N.C. State game we had to win two out of three. We still have to win two out of three. That hasn't changed. But again, there will be some emotional baggage because it's a tough loss. It's how we lost that game that we'll have to address.
Does last year's win over South Carolina give you the fear that it may be as easy this year?
Bowden: I don't think so. Nothing has come easy for us this year. Six games have been more or less down to the last play of the game. I wouldn't think our players would think it's going to be anything less. I wouldn't figure anything less. What happened last year hasn't happened in a hundred years, and it probably won't happen again for another hundred years. I surely wouldn't think it would happen two years in a row. Nothing has come easy for us this year. It's been a year where we've had to fight for everything we've gotten. With a loss this week, it becomes magnified.
You've said previously that you've lost to some pretty good teams this year. But with Duke...does it hurt that much more that you lost a team that wasn't very good.
Bowden: That's what you call an upset. Again, when we had a better football team across the board. When you lose a game like that, it shows you how the mental aspect comes into play. It just goes to show you, if you aren't sharp, you'll get beat regardless of the opposition. It happens every week. It happened this week.
Do you feel a win over South Carolina to get a sixth win means a definite bowl? Or is that still up in the air even if you win?
Bowden: We just want to win the game. That won't be discussed. Whatever happens, happens. All the different possibilities of what could happen, we just want to win the game and have a winning season. We've had five straight winning seasons. That's the number one objective, and the rest of it will take care of itself.
Will you do anything this week in practice to help these guys dealing with the physical and mental fatigue headed into the last week of the season?
Bowden: We'll sure talk about it. We started discussing it directly after the game. We won't see the team again until tomorrow. The fact that we are playing South Carolina will help. There's a lot of emotions spent. It is the eleventh game of the season with an open date, which it makes in 12 weeks. All that will be taken into consideration.
People have used the word "embarrassing" with this loss. Would you agree with that?
Bowden: I don't ever like to lose. That's not the first time Clemson has lost to Duke. Our defense played really really good, so I'd hate throw embarrassing on a performance that they had. As far as when you lose- losing to Duke is not a common occurrence. It's very very disappointing.
Tommy how would you assess the play calling on offense?
Bowden: Since it has all gone through me. It was not productive. The inability to move the ball. That's not one of the better defenses in the conference statistically. They had us stymied all day. I'm disappointed in that regard. We had 13 points? That's not very much.
Could you talk about the gadget plays you used?
Bowden: Justin Miller down there backed up, you don't want a turnover. There's not a long of things you can do. He can make a guy miss and run a long ways. Down to fourth and two, trick play, that was my call. To be honest with you, you need a fourth and one, fourth and less than one. Again, putting the ball in a good guy's hands in the open field. There was a pass off that. It was a run/pass. I thought we had a chance. It was a chance for one of your better athletes on the field to the put the ball in his hands. It's great if it works, but if it doesn't work...That was the reason for using both of those guys.
Was the team flat yesterday?
Bowden: Well, I wouldn't say that defensively. So that's part of the team. Unfortunately, two thirds of the team weren't there. That's offensively and special teams. You won't win very many games where that occurs, regardless of who you are playing. It is a team sport, but defensively came ready to play and were productive all day. I hate to say the team. But again, as I told the team after the game, you win and lose as a team.
How did the offensive line look?
Bowden: Good, not great. Not as intense as the game against Miami. Our running game was productive. We did not throw and catch the ball effectively versus those guys. That was are biggest ineffectiveness on offense was our passing attack.
How is Leroy Hill?
Bowden: I believe he's going to be alright unless something developed on the bus as far as tightening.
Are your receivers getting open?
Bowden: Some of them they are, some of them they aren't. That would be my fault. If I'm calling routes that aren't open, that's me.
Is it better that both you and South Carolina are coming in on equal footing?
Bowden: I don't know the answer to that. The last time we lost like this we did not respond well, of course we weren't playing South Carolina after that game either. Unfortunately we have to go the hardest route possible now, which is against your state rival. We have made it as difficult as possible. How the loss will effect us, I'm anxious to see.
South Carolina needed to win the last two years to get to a bowl game. Did you use that as more motivation against them?
Bowden: That particular time, both times, we were struggling ourselves. Last year, we needed a win to enhance our opportunities. Two years ago, we may have needed that win to go, I'm not sure. That's not used as much as having to have it ourselves to have more options or to go somewhere. I think that's been more the case then knocking them out. We've been on both ends of the spectrum.
Do you have any idea of why Rick Stockstill took a job at South Carolina?
Bowden: Yeah, he's been on the same sideline for so long. From a coaching perspective, you really don't have time to meet with him.
Do you have any idea why Coach Stockstill took a job at South Carolina?
Bowden: I'm not sure why he did all that. There's probably been some articles out there somewhere on why he made the move. South Carolina is a good place to coach, and it's attracted a lot of coaches. You'd have to ask him. I'm not even sure what kind of communication they had.
There was talk that he advised Hamilton on whether or not to leave early for the draft. Do you think that's a conflict of interest?
Bowden: You'd have to ask him and Derrick. I'm not even sure what kind of communication him and Derrick had.