Tommy Bowden Quotes on Georgia

Clemson enters Saturday night's game against Georgia as 9-point underdogs, and with only 2 wins in 21 tries at Samford Stadium, it has become very apparent that the Tigers will have their work cut out for them. Here is what Tommy Bowden had to say about Georgia in his weekly press conference.

On the significance of the rivalry with Georgia:
"I think if any of our players had played in a game against them it might have more significance. But the last time we played them was 1995, and they are not that familiar with it. It will be real emotional for both teams because we both recruit actively in each other's states and a lot of the players know each other. We have a lot of players from Georgia. It will be more emotional in that way than as a rivalry. "If I'm not mistaken, Clemson has only won twice in Athens. Two wins in 21 tries is not good odds."

On concerns heading into Georgia:
"If you lived in a perfect world, you would not like your quarterback's (Willie Simmons) first start to be in Athens against a nationally-ranked team. But that is what we have to do, so I think it will give us a good measuring stick early on where our program is and what we need to accomplish to improve before heading into the conference schedule.

"It will be the first career start for a lot of guys. It will be our first time without Kyle Young, Will Merritt and T.J. Watkins, who gave us some continuity and stability in the middle. Also the familiarity of the defense with a new system. How fast our players can adjust to John Lovett's system."

On how big the game against Georgia is:
"Well it is the first time we've played Georgia since I've been here. South Carolina games are pretty big, Florida State games are pretty big. Those games are probably bigger, but behind those two I would have to say Georgia is about the third biggest."

On Saturday's matchups:
"I think the most interesting matchup will be their offensive line, which are all seniors, versus our defensive line. I think that is the key to the game. If those five guys control our guys up front, it is going to be a long day. I will let you know whether I like the matchup or not after the game. If all our guys were seniors, I would feel pretty good. But with Nick (Eason) being the only senior, it could be a concern."

On the atmosphere at Sanford Stadium:
"This will be my third trip there with different teams. I have been once with Duke and a couple of times with Auburn. It is a great college environment. The noise will be a factor. It will be emotional, and I'm sure that will cause a momentum change during the game. We practice with crowd noise and a lot of our signals are done by hand, so noise is not as big a factor. I imagine that at some point there will be some communication problems up front because of the noise."

On special teams against Georgia:
"We've been very productive and I feel pretty good with the amount of time and work we have put into it. But again, you're always concerned with first game jitters about punt protection and kicking. But my main concern in the last two weeks has been consistency with our punting. The other concern is our long snapper. We have had the exact same snapper since I've been here in Henry Owen, who did a really good job." Top Stories