CUTigersTV: Tigers Turn Focus to First Game

CLEMSON - "We'll game plan all day tomorrow for Florida Atlantic," said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden following Tuesday's practice.

CUTigersTV: Tigers Turn Focus to First Game

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Opening Comments
Bowden: We had a long day but we worked really really hard. Offense kind of got the best of the defense today. We had a bunch of different situations. Had first from the goal with 99 yards to go. Short-yardage. Had a first and nine from the nine going in. At the end we had overtime. First overtime we took a sack on third down and had a 52-yard field goal to win it and Richard Jackson nailed it. That was encouraging.

Have your two starting safeties been a steadying influence on your defense so far this preseason?
Bowden: Roy Walker has played been pretty good. Had an interception today in skeleton and should have had another one. They've been pretty good but that's one guy that has stood out the last day or two.

What about Clemons and Hamlin? They are still the starters?
Bowden: They've been steady. Not a force. They've been steady Force would be another notch.

What did the offense do well today?
Bowden: Scored. Moved the ball well. That's what you don't want to see but the defense has won their share this camp but it wasn't today.

What has Nick Watkins done to earn the coaching staff's confidence back.
Bowden: Well on the field he's doing what he's supposed to do. His problem is off the field. We'll find out Wednesday whether he'll play. He's got a week worth of classes he's got to attend before our first game. That's his problem. The things he struggles with pick up tomorrow (first day of classes). Attitude on the field has never been a problem. He's become a little bit of a better tackler and done better in this camp tackling. He needs to behave himself before the first game.

Is there any sense of distraction with school starting tomorrow?
Bowden: Most of these guys have been here for four years. I've got a lot of seniors and they've been here a while. I don't think that will be a problem. We talk about it a good bit.

You've designated this as a transitional period with classes starting Wednesday and no practice Wednesday. Is there anything different about what you'll be picking back up on Thursday?
Bowden: No. Other than it's all Florida Atlantic on scout teams. That's different than the last two to three weeks as far as what we do day to day. We'll game plan all day tomorrow for Florida Atlantic.

Was there ever a time you thought that Duane Coleman wasn't going to amount to much from an attitude stand point?
Bowden: Yeah as far as being a team guy ... yes there was some doubt and indecision earlier. There's not much now but there was. It's been a great story. When he gets his degree it will be a heckuva story one time to sit down and talk about. He's been one of the better stories I've had in 30 years of coaching.

Does the intensity of practice naturally start to pick up as you get closer to the first game?
Bowden: Yeah. But not until that last week. Not today. It's too early now. Probably not much Thursday or Friday. Monday, you'll see a little bit of a different spirit. Game week you see that more. Their legs will be back. They don't feel very good right now physically.

Is there any difference in your mindset as a coach at this point (in preseason)?
Bowden: No, you know I feel comfortable with the plan of attack from how long we've gone and what we are doing from a finishing standpoint and what the coordinators will try to put in for the first game. I feel comfortable in that regard. There's always some anxiety going into the first game. There's always some of that. That's natural and will probably happen as long as I'm in coaching. Top Stories