Bowden's Tuesday Press Conference

CLEMSON - Read what Coach Bowden had to say about Saturday's game against Georgia Tech.

Talk about Calvin Johnson and some of the problems he presents your defense.
Bowden: The biggest thing he presents is his height. He's tall. He's one of those guys that has strength, size, speed. He's got some god given ability at a very young age. He presents problems because you have to give a guy help. Tye probably has the same vertical jump. He's fast, or faster. But a 40-inch on a 5-10 guy, and a 40-inch vertical jump on a 6-4 guy, you have to provide help. He's not going to grow seven inches. They've got good skill guys.

Can you talk about what he did last year to have so much success against you?
Bowden: He kind of single handily dismantled us. He does a lot of things good. He's got a specific advantage, especially in the red zone. But you have to be careful. All of a sudden you send out the message that he's the only guy, then P.J. Daniels gets mad. And Reggie Ball. He's a pretty good player himself.

Have you ever coached a game that had such a bizarre ending like last year against Georgia Tech?
Bowden: I don't think I have as an assistant coach. I know I haven't as a head coach. It was very unusual.

Cole Downer - his status for Saturday?
Bowden: I think he'll definitely play. He has the approval of the doctor as of Saturday. The difficult part is he's been out six weeks. His first contact/collision is going to be in the game so we have to be smart about what we ask him to do. Once the medical people release him, I have no doubt about his physical health.

Did you realize how close he actually came to dying?
Bowden: I don't know much about spleens. You don't hear much about (that). I was kind of shocked. I've been educated about it the last six weeks. I thought our medical staff did an excellent job. Dr. Bowman and Danny Poole did an excellent job. I was surprised and shocked that escalated so fast.

Any chance of James Davis playing Saturday?
Bowden: They took the stitches out on Monday. He's listed as doubtful.

Will he practice this week?
Bowden: Possibly. But it will be non-contact reps. There's a fine line you have to walk. We'll have to be awfully careful with how much work he gets.

Could he play without practicing this week?
Bowden: That would be one position where you probably could but it would be limited because we do so much at the line. That would be a concern. Obviously holding on to the ball with a cast (is also a concern).

How big of an advantage was it for Georgia Tech to not have to play Miami last weekend?
Bowden: I don't think there's any doubt it's an advantage. It can also be a disadvantage. You can get too analytical. There's pros and there's cons. You can mess it up by adding too much because you've got the extra time.

Can you since a difference with the team now that you've won two games in a row compared to when you lost three?
Bowden: This team has pretty even keel the whole time. We weren't that far away from being a good football team. I haven't seen a big change, which is good.

Do you talk to your team about your late-season turnarounds from the last two years to help motivate the team this season?
Bowden: I think it creates less doubt and indecision the fact that we've done it in the past. I don't have to bring it up very much. I'll mention it a little bit. It creates less doubt that you can turn things around.

Georgia Tech's defense- they blitz a good bit compared to some of the other teams you've played this year?
Bowden: When you watch them, what they do is they bring five more than most people. What they do is bring five and play variations of three deep, three under. They bring more pressure. They play a three-deep where as N.C. State played a lot of man free. There's not as many big holes in a three-deep, three under zone. And that combination of five guys can come from anywhere. That's the difficult in it. You don't give up as many big plays (with Tech's defense) because you've got a zone behind it.

There have been a lot of close games that didn't go your way. How do keep your players from saying here we go again?
Bowden: That's the difficult part. A lot of these players have won their last four games on the year (two years ago) and five out of the last six (last year). We played smart, played hard, and not turned the ball over (during those three close losses) and we had to keep convincing them of those statements. It's a little easier to convince them of that considering the success we had the last several years.

Your punting continues to be a problem for you. What do you do?
Bowden: Obviously not pleased with the punting. Right now, it's the best we've got. Had we had one more possession, I was going to put the other guy in ... Jimmy Manners. He didn't punt the first half. Cole's a better punter, (then what he's showing). Top Stories