What's it like playing a non-conference game this late in the season?
Bowden: There's pluses and minuses. The fact that we are playing a team right now that has not had much success. We have to win. It's not that big of a deal to be honest. I tried to think of a better answer.
Is it pretty noticeable on film the difference in talent between schools in the ACC and Temple?
Bowden: Well you know, the Maryland game. I'm thinking that score halfway through the second quarter was like, 7-3 Temple. Their guys don't rush the passer as fast. They are four man rush defend team. They are going to try and get pressure with four. There's a difference.
Is this a different kind of game in terms of preparation because of suspensions and/or injuries this week?
Bowden: It will be simply be different preparation for the guys that are playing more. From a staff stand point it's no different. We work normally like we would for a normal opponent. But as far as how we practice, it won't be any different because guys will play more.
Is it important for your team to come out and win big Saturday?
Bowden: Not particularly. Our objective is to win the game. You look at how we've won and lost. We haven't blown anybody out other than N.C. State. The players will go out and I'll tell them to play the best they can. We probably played our best football against N.C. State but we got a break or two. We get a break or two against Wake Forest we probably win. We really won't approach this game any different. We need to play this game at a high level of intensity.
Can you evaluate your pass rush through the first six games of the year?
Bowden: I look at it more overall as I do pass rush. Just off the top of my head. We held N.C. State to the least amount of points that Clemson has in 16 years. I think we did it mostly with a four-man rush. I think we had two sacks. Boston College, Wake Forest, and Miami, we held to less total yards than Florida State. I think our sacks are probably average. I'd say our defense is probably above average based on our schedule and who we've played.
What were some of the benefits of using the 3-3-5 formation against N.C. State?
Bowden: I would say the fact that they are leading the conference in passing. You can be a little more complex when you drop eight men instead of seven.
Are you getting the push you need from the interior defensive line?
Bowden: I think every phase, offense and defense we could be better. Push is usually signified by productivity in the passing game. We held N.C. State to 10 points, and that's pretty good. I'm pleased, but expecting improvement.
Can you talk about Kyle Browning's impact on the program?
Bowden: It's a great example of a team player. Always practices hard, always ready to go, just like a second team quarterback. He's prepared to go in and play every snap. He's a great reference point for some of our underclassmen.
How does your running scheme change with Davis out this week?
Bowden: It won't really change. We lose some productivity. We haven't had a back run for 140 yards in a half since we've been here. We haven't really adjusted anything scheme-wise offensively. But we are losing one of our most productive guys.
During the first half Thursday, was that the most physical you've seen your offensive line been?
Bowden: I'd say yeah. And I think the fact they've got three potential first rounders in No. 90, No. 91, and No. 9.
You've got a lot of youth out there playing for your right now on the offensive line. How encouraging is it to know that you've got a lot of these players coming back for the next couple of years?
Bowden: I'm equally excited about our young offensive linemen as I am about our defensive line. Phillip Merling, Rashaad Jackson, and Dorrell Scott. I'm real encouraged. I know it started with the offensive line. Last year's class overall is as good an offensive line as we've had. Very impressive on the scout team.
Charlie said the other night that it's nice to have a second-and-1 and second and two. How much does it help your offense to be in those kind of situations?
Bowden: Tremendous. You've got a lot more of flexibility in terms of your play calling. You can do anything. When you have that many options available you can be less predictable on offense. If you can stay ahead of change, it really helps.
What has impressed you most about Charlie Whitehurst this year?
Bowden: I would say, it would be Charlie and his ability to adapt to a completely different offense. The mode of o operation now is completely different. The Terminology is completely different. I've never really seen him react to a new system. I know about his physical skills and throwing the football, but I've never really seen him react to a new system.
Will the medical folks have a two-week re-evaluation on James Davis?
Bowden: We meet every morning at 7:00 as a staff. I'm updated every day. I know every day.
What would say about Jad Dean's performance this year?
Bowden: I think going in this game, he's led the nation in active field goal kickers as far as percentage. I've got a comfort zone of 53-yards with him. That's awful productive. He was mad Thursday after that game. He doesn't just want to be the best in the state, best in the conference. He wants to be the best from coast-to-coast. He's a little hard on himself sometimes. He's a self-starter.
Have you ever gone through a season like Temple is going through right now? Is there a sense that they could just be packing in the season?
Bowden: They have seven seniors on defense trying to make it to the NFL. Right now we've probably got four or five pro scouts here watching tape. There's that motivation for Temple. They play in front of 10,000 or 12,000 people. There are probably 60,000 or 70,000 empty seats there. They are going to see what it's like for a big time environment this weekend and that's motivation for Temple.
Bowden's Tuesday Press Conference
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