Tommy Bowden Press Conference

CLEMSON - Read what Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden talk about Thursday night's game against N.C. State.

What was your thoughts after watching N.C. State/Georgia Tech game last Thursday night?
Bowden: Tremendous amount of patience on Georgia Tech's part with how N.C. State plays defensively. You have to be patient and eventually you try to hit one. That's kind of how that game went. That was one thing; the other was the big plays N.C. State had. They hit that one post (pattern).

Are they playing much man-free again this year?
Bowden: They do that and they show some two-deep. I think we run the football a little better this year. I anticipate a little more man-free.

What does the open date enable you to do to help prepare for this game and is the team in good spirits after a week off?
Bowden: It gives us a little more time for formation recognition, front recognition. The team has been in pretty good spirits. I think our spirits are still high. We aren't even halfway through the season yet. I think this team has developed a personality. It's probably the smartest team I've coached in terms of penalties and turnovers. I think we have developed a style, a personality, a demeanor. Their attitude has been good. It was good during the open date. It's obvious that we are close. I just have to make sure as the head coach that I don't mess it up and try to change everything so much.

What is one area you think you must improve on the rest of the year?
Bowden: The most important thing is that we've got to make one more play.

Can you comment on Andrew Diomande stepping into Kelvin Grant's role?
Bowden: The only shift we will do is Diomande. We'll miss Kelvin. He had really practiced well the last two to three weeks and he was starting to be productive in games. Diomande just has a little less experience. He's also not as big. But he's probably one of our faster receivers. We probably pick up a little speed. This week, the more physical we can be- the better, because they are a hands on defense.

You talk about not changing too much because you are so close. But what do you do as a head coach at 2-3 to get this team over the hump in close games?
Bowden: Don't overreact, don't panic. 2-3? Yeah, you want to change that. But you have to look at why are you 2-3. Penalties? No. Turnovers? No. What is it? We've got to make one more play. The play Florida State made against Wake (Saturday) we've got to make that play. We've got to find the guy to make one more play. As a head coach, I've got to be careful. I've got to look at the facts at why we are 2-3

Has that been the theme during the off-week? To make ‘one more play?'
Bowden: That's kind of been the motto. The theme. It's kind of been that way ever since we lost the first overtime game. But again, that's the facts how they are. I think it's pretty obvious what the problem is. Somebody has got to make a play. I can't surely read too much into this and all of a sudden try to re-invent the wheel with where we are. So what do you say your team? ‘Step up and make a play.'

You said after the Wake Forest game that you would go back and self scout how you handled late-game situations. What did you find out?
Bowden: What I just said. Somebody has got to make a play. I think right now, I know what the headline may be, ‘Bowden blames loss on players.' Third down stops and third down conversions.

Is the frustration level higher for you considering you've been so close in the last three games?
Bowden: Yeah, it's awfully frustrating. It really is. That's the part where you have to make sure how you respond to the team. You look at 30-point losses, 20-point losses, heavily penalized team, or a high number of turnovers. You look at things like that and you aren't doing them. That's where the frustration sets in.

You get 27 points on the road at Wake Forest, shouldn't that be enough to win on the road against Wake Forest?
Bowden: Yeah. But you have to look how they got some of their points. Interception gave them the ball on the 15. Interception gave them the ball on the 20. Blocked punt gave them the ball on the 30. Then you throw in the two big plays (in their passing game).

Is it more difficult to come back from close games as opposed to blowouts?
Bowden: That's the part I don't know because I've never been in this situation. I'm kind of anxious to see how the team responds. We haven't lost our steam. It would be out of character for this team.

Do you worry that the team may be settling into the fact that, ‘hey, we are playing these games close and that's okay?'
Bowden: I don't think so. You see the disappointment in their faces when you are around them. The expectations are too high at this place to have moral victories in close games. That's not why these players came here.

N.C. State has changed offensive and defensive coordinators since you last played them. What similarities and differences do you see between this year's team and last year's team?
Bowden: They lot of run a lot of multiple formations with multiple backs and wide outs. They run some of the same routes. From a formation standpoint, they are similar. I think their offensive scheme is pretty good. I think they use the tight end a little bit more. I'd say they are similar. But Mark Trestman has been in the pros for a long time. I'm sure he brings a little bit more to the table in that regard. Top Stories