Bowden, Staff Preparing for Season

With baseball finally over and the season opener against Florida Atlantic on Sept. 2 less than 60 days away, Clemson fans are just starting to catch a hint of football fever. However, the Tigers' coaching staff has been preparing for the Owls, not to mention Boston College and Florida State for the better part of three weeks now.

Around the second week in June, the offensive and defensive coaching staffs were beginning their film breakdowns of Florida Atlantic, Boston College and Florida State, which are the first three opponents for the Tigers in the upcoming season.

"We go into August with a tentative idea for the first three games," Clemson coach Tommy Bowden told in an exclusive interview. "That seems to be a common number at the places I've been and the coaches I've talked to. We'll do a three-game scouting report on the first three opponents."

It was widely known that Bowden and his staff started preparing for their season openers against Georgia, Wake Forest and Texas A&M far in advance, but he says it's that way every year, regardless of the opponent.

In fact, he said they do it every year for their first three games.

"By the time I play my fourth game (against North Carolina), I'll have three game tapes on them," he said. "Like with Florida Atlantic, I won't have anything on them. Their first game is our first game, so I'm looking at stuff from last year.

"Boston College, I will only have played one game, so we'll have to study some from last year. But by the time I play my fourth game, I'll have a three-game breakdown on them and they'll have one on me."

Bowden said that it's a pretty simple aspect to look at film from the previous year when scouting an opponent, especially when they haven't made any personnel changes.

"Now, if they haven't changed coordinators and their staff remains intact, you can get a lot of information," he said. "Last year with us having two new coordinators, I'm sure they studied Troy and I'm sure they studied Toledo. They didn't study Clemson at this time."

Of course, for the first time in a long time, the Tigers won't open up against a team ranked in the top 25 or against a conference opponent. In fact, the Owls couldn't be much further from that considering how they're new to the Division I scene.

"There are pros and cons with both of them," Bowden said. "When you open up with a Texas A&M, you have you have your team's attention right off the bat. We don't know much about Florida Atlantic and we don't recruit against them and we don't know a lot about their players and you so run the risk of looking bad, because we've got conference opponents next. But I don't think this year's team will, but there is that risk when you don't play a traditional power in your conference or a traditional conference game." Top Stories