BOWDEN PLEASED WITH TURNOVERS: Leading up to Saturday's game, much was made about Texas A&M's record when it won the turnover battle against the opposition. The Aggies were 9-0 under Dennis Franchione when winning the turnover battle, but 2-13 when losing the turnover battle.
Make that 2-14.
"The fact we had no turnovers, and they had one. As you reflect back on the game, that was a pretty big issue," Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden said.
The Aggies' only turnover of the game courtesy of CB Sergio Gilliam, who intercepted Reggie McNeal on an errant pass and scampered 37 yards to put the Tigers in position for their final field goal of the first half.
RED ZONE CONCERNS? With Jad Dean kicking a school-record six field goals Saturday night, there is natural concern that the Tigers are having problems in the red zone.
Bowden confirmed that idea on Sunday, but pointed out that his team was only a block or a pass away from adding two touchdowns.
"Obviously, it's a concern. But so many good things happened that I think that's something that can be corrected," he said. "You know we had Cole Downer wide open in the endzone and Charlie just didn't make the play. As I watch the film when we get field goals instead of touchdowns, I think we can get that corrected.
"We should have scored more touchdowns."
STILL RB BY COMMITTEE? After freshman running back James Davis rushed for over 100 yards in the first game of his Clemson career, Bowden may start leaning away from the running back by committee approach.
"I think as these things materialize, we'll kind of see how the week goes and who stays healthy. But if separation starts to be created, you try to go more with that guy.
"We still have a lot of confidence in all those guys. I think right now, James brings a little bit of what everybody else has. But they still have a long ways to go. There might be a little bit of separation."
For the game, Davis rushed 19 times for 101 yards, Reggie Merriweather rushed nine times for 22 yards, Duane Coleman rushed 10 times for 21 yards and Kyle Browning rushed seven times for 20 yards.
BIG PLAY CONCERNS? Reggie McNeal's dual-threat ability kept the Tigers' defense on edge all night Saturday, which was somewhat expected. Overall, he had nine rushes for 100 yards, while also completing 8-of-16 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
Bowden said Sunday that he plans to keep his defense's performance somewhat in perspective heading into next weekend's ACC opener at Maryland.
"(I am) a little bit disturbed, but I want to keep perspective," he said. "That quarterback, he's a Woody Dantzler-type quarterback. If we played three quarterbacks like that and they all had that kind of success, I'd be disturbed.
"They went out there and visited Utah. It's just tough for your scout team to emulate Texas A&M."
In addition, there was concern with Clemson's defensive line holding up against an offensive line that averaged over 317 pounds across the board. Bowden said that most of the big running plays that occurred Saturday evening did not fall on the responsibility of his linemen.
"I don't think most of the long runs was their responsibility. I think they held up pretty good. We are going to meet with personnel shortly and work out grades," he added.
QUICK HITS: Clemson went into Saturday's game with 18 possible offensive formations under first-year offensive coordinator Rob Spence ... last year the Tigers went into the season opener against Wake Forest with nine. ... Bowden praised Cole Chason for handling a low snap on the game-winning 42-yard field goal by Jad Dean. "The key was him getting it down," he said. ... Bowden said that if Charlie Whitehurst was in the game on the last drive, James Davis would likely have still carried the football eight times. ... Bowden said that Nathan Bennett may have played the best of any offensive linemen Saturday night. ... If Miami beats FSU Monday night, the Miami-Clemson game will kick-off at 7:45 on ESPN in two weeks. If FSU beats Miami, the game will be a 3:30 contest on ABC.
Red Zone Concerns?
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