Bowden's Sunday Teleconference

Clemson head coach talks about Saturday's game against Boston College.

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Sunday Tommy Bowden Comments (22:45)

Are you to the point where you feel like you need to go more vertical on offense to open some things up?
Bowden: After three or four games they are going to start playing to certain areas of the field. That's probably an area of the field that we need to attack a little bit more. When you throw vertical, obviously the percentages go down. But in 70 plays, you just need to do it twice or three times. As long as you do that, you'll be in pretty good shape.

Boston College was inexperienced in the secondary and FSU seemed to be able to capitalize on the that the week before. In hindsight, do you regret not going downfield more?
Bowden: Florida State hit some middle routes, which we had some called. They hit their 6-6 guy on the 20-yard line one time. Other than that, they attacked the middle of the field before they attacked the perimeter. That was more so underneath coverage than it was working corners and deep balls. So it really wasn't throwing downfield attacking corners.

There were a couple of times it looked like you tried to go downfield against Boston College. Stuckey maybe looked like he had the chance to catch a ball?
Bowden: Yeah, that was the area Florida State had. He just dropped the ball. It was a catchable ball. We threw one to Curtis. We probably need a couple of more shots vertically. We had Bobby down the middle on the field in overtime. He dropped that one also.

What surprised you about what happened yesterday against Boston College?
Bowden: Both of our inabilities on third down. Our defense's inability to stop on third down and our inability to get a first down (on third down). I think they had it 90 plays, obviously their offensive line was in pretty good shape. That would be the biggest surprise.

How do you now turn around and face a team like Wake Forest?
Bowden: I think the team has to remember, we don't have cream puff teams we are playing. I mean teams that are traditionally not very good. Mentally we've got to make the players see who they play, and how close they are. We aren't committing a lot of penalties. We are doing some things we can build off of. (Clemson is currently third in the country in fewest penalties committed.) Those are things that will win games. Look at our schedule compared to other team's schedules. (three games against top 25 teams) To me, the biggest thing we have to work on is a way to get more points on the board and third down conversions on both sides.

Why did Nathan Bennett not start yesterday?
Bowden: The other guy may have just had a better week of practice. We got Chip Myrick, Brandon Pilgrim, Roman Fry, Nathan Bennett. That's probably the reason. They are all so close. There's really not a huge separation between (them all).

How would you rate Cole Chason's performance yesterday?
Bowden: I'm looking at it really hard. I think he averaged 38, right around there. His net was 35. One we downed at the six yard line. We still have to get a little bit more production out of him. I think he averaged 38 in the game, and that's what he averaged as a freshmen.

Who are the guys that could challenge Cole Chason if you open that position back up?
Bowden: James Manners and Stephen Furr. "He's got a little bit more experienced. Maynard is getting better. I think I might start prepping them up this week and making the competition a little more serious.

Is your team banged up right now? Do you adjust your schedule this week?
Bowden: I have to see how much hitting we do. Traditionally Tuesday we go full pads and have some hitting. I don't think we'll do that this week. I do think we came out with some more bumps and bruises. There was a lot of hitting on both sides of the ball. The biggest thing we'll have to address is how long we'll stay on the field and how much hitting we do.

Are you concerned about your team playing so many fourth quarter, overtime games?
Bowden: Not really. We practice three hours for a player to play 12 plays a quarter, about 45-50 plays a game. By that, I mean, defensive line rotating, defensive ends rotating, rotating in linebackers, secondary, rotating in wide outs, rotating in backs. 3/4 of the team is playing 40-50 snaps. We practice three hours to play 40-50 snaps. I think we can do that once a week on Saturdays. I just have to make sure we stay in conditioning. If all of our games are going 60 minutes, I have to make sure our practices put us in good enough shape to do that. I don't know what the NCAA record is for this many close games. I think we've had eight out of nine kind of last play games. I don't know if anybody else has done that. We are kind of going into uncharted waters here.

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