Bowden's Tuesday Press Conference

CLEMSON - Listen to Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden talk about Saturday's game against No. 25 Boston College.

Tommy Bowden Tuesday Press Conference (42:52)

Opening Comments...
Bowden: We did elect captains for the game: Curtis Baham, Tye Hill, and Lionel Richardson. Our major concerns are going against their (offensive) line. They have linemen that are 6-6, 6-7. Their interior guys go 360, 340, their little one is 290. Again, I think the crowd could be a factor. Boston College, there stadium now seats about 44,000. So, we have the capability here of doubling the size of their crowd that they normally play in front of. The problem (a big crowd can create) is the disruption of the communication (on offense). It will be another quality opponent - preseason ranked. I believe Boston College and Florida State were picked as the top two teams in our division.

Nine of your last 14 games have been decided by seven points or less. Does take a toll on you and your team?
Bowden: That many games, three hours mentally, and physically, it's tough. Usually you don't have that many. I think you would be hard pressed to go back over the last 10 to 15 years and find that many games that were that close (by another team).

As you review the Georgia Tech game last year, what do you do differently this year to avoid that hangover that seemed to plague this team after that game?
Bowden: I think one of the biggest factors is that last year we went on the road and faced Texas A&M. This year we play at home. It's going to be as sellout against another quality opponent. They have a divisional loss, we don't have a divisional loss. It's going to be a very physical game. But I like the comments the players are making publicly in reference to not let that happen again. We have to practice and play after a loss, and we haven't done that yet. I'm anxious to see it...

What adjustments are you making in the running game this week after what happened against Miami?
Bowden: Hopefully Miami is off the schedule the next couple of years. That's the cream of the crop, physically. I hope that has something to do with it. Boston College is third in the nation against the run. You put a wrinkle in the game plan every week. With 30 different formations you have a lot to pick and choose from. Our ability to run the football is a concern. But we are going to continue what we do, we just need better results.

Do you match up similarly with Boston College in terms of your offensive line versus their defensive line like you did against Miami?
Bowden: Well Miami had 300 pounders inside, but these guys are 340 and bigger. Miami possibly had a little more quickness. Boston College will gain what they have in strength and size in what we gain in quickness.

What did you think of your team's response to your "more collisions" challenge against Miami?
Bowden: I think we made progress in that area. I think we'll be really challenged this week just because of style of play. Yes, I thought they responded well against Miami, they are a tough and physical team.

Can you evaluate Charlie's play compared to 2003?
Bowden: Two years ago it was very similar (to now). It's a different plan of attack. Making good decisions, getting rid of the football, good leadership. I think he's a more complete player now because of lessons learned and experience. He had consistent success during his sophomore year, now he responds more to difficulties. He's more polished. Passing percentage, he's probably higher now than his sophomore year.

Is Curtis Baham now the go-to receiver for this team after his past two performances?
Bowden: I see him as one of our playmakers. Chansi Stuckey, Aaron Kelly, Kelvin Grant. I'm hoping we've got more than one ala Rod Gardner. I think we are a little more diversified in how we attack. You better have more than one go-to guy. He's a senior (Baham). He's worked hard and in this last game he happened to make some really big catches.

You mentioned Chris McDuffie potentially moving back to defense for this game. When do you have decide on that if you are actually going to do it?
Bowden: I'd have to do it today. I wouldn't tell you if I did.

Your punting currently ranks 114th in the country. What has happened with Cole Chason this year?
Bowden: Well, I think this last game it was purposely planned to punt away from Hester and he did a good job. Hester did not beat us in the kicking game. He has not been up to par, but the season is not over yet. We've had a little problem snapping. I'm getting a little bit concerned, it's early in the year. The competition is not yet where I'd like to see it. Stephen Furr is there. We have a walk on… Maynard … I told him I'd learn his first name when he gets it off in less than two seconds.

How did the poor field position affect your play calling Saturday against Miami?
Bowden: Very tough. Very tough. We had bad field position. Not only that, we were putting our defense in a hole the entire first half. It really limits what you can do. It restricts your play calling. Brian (assistant SID) told me 159 yards of field position difference with us in that game. That's tremendous. That was tough.

In the triple overtime game, the pass at the end of regulation that was almost there. Have you looked at the film on that? Were there more plays like that during the game?
Bowden: No, there was only one play late in the game that could have put it out during regulation. 31-out-of-55. That's going to be a very productive day. There's not a guy in the NFL that's going to make every catch. There's not a guy in the NFL that's going to make every throw. In a close game, the misses are going to be magnified. The timing is going to magnified.

Do you go and talk to Charlie after that game to remind him of all the good plays he made as opposed to that one last play at the end of regulation?
Bowden: Did that yesterday. I don't know if there will be much written about that. Glass half full, or the glass half empty.

Did you talk to your father about Boston College? And if so, what did he say?
Bowden: He really felt like Boston College controlled his defensive line with their offensive line. That's kind of my concern here this morning. It really puts pressure on you. The ability for our offensive line to run the ball.

Isn't that a nice asset to have? To be able to call somebody to ask them what they did to beat a team you are facing this week?
Bowden: They had only beat Miami once in the last six years, so that conversation was short (before Miami). There is very little that you can't get off tape. You can't get snap counts off tape, but we really didn't discuss that.

You said you don't know how your team will respond this week. How unsettling is that before a big game like this?
Bowden: That's kind of one of the most unusual aspects of coaching. It is such a mental game. Take Oklahoma. Lose the first game to TCU. Then go on the road and lose to UCLA. Coach Stoops has never been in that situation. Last year's team (Clemson), obviously didn't perform very well (after a tough loss). But the fact that we are playing at home instead of away (is good). It is unnerving (that he doesn't know how the team will respond).

What were your first thoughts when coached in Clemson (as an opposing coach) for the first time?
Bowden: No. 1 it was orange. This was back in 1983, 1984 when I was at Duke. You can feel that electricity. I've been Ohio State and Notre Dame. I've been in the Cotton Bowl before. Tailgating. I'm just talking about driving in on a bus. At that particular time, knowing what was getting off my bus and what was getting off their bus. Going into Gainesville, going into Athens. Back then; Clemson was the only school that had an SEC environment.

Do you have to sit down with your assistant coaches at all this week to remind them of how to react after a loss like that?
Bowden: Most of them have been in this situation before. Most of them have experienced a similar type game. But you don't want to assume anything. There are certain things that I'll present to them. I used to assume that guys will react a certain way, but I no longer do that. Top Stories