Tommy Bowden's Press Conference

CLEMSON - Head coach Tommy Bowden met with the media Tuesday to discuss Saturday's game against the Furman Paladins.

How much are you playing up the Appalachian State game this week as you prepare for Furman?
Bowden: I've mentioned it once. I won't mention it anymore. After bringing it up the first day I'm going to talk more about us improving and correcting mistakes from the Monroe game. I'll try to highlight those as opposed to what happened there.

How much more speed do you think you have than Furman?
Bowden: I don't have the 40-yard dash times for their team. They've got guys that can run 4.4, 4.3. We'll probably have more but they have fast players.

Did you recruit any of their players?
Bowden: No, I thought about anticipating that question. A lot of their players, in years when we had 18 or 19 scholarships, if we had one more, a lot of their guys would be right there if we had one or two more to give.

What do you make of James Davis' comments about wanting to see Korn on the field a little more?
Bowden: James probably just got out of Spanish class trying to figure out what "hola" means. He's 20 years old. "Hola" means hello. It's like he's a coach making a comment or something so you go out and write a three-page article on it.

Can you situation where Korn and Harper become part of a two-quarterback system this season?
Bowden: I don't know if we are ready for that yet but I think he has potential. I remember Charlie Whitehurst against Virginia and he went for 7-and-7 and that caught your eye. It's a similar situation. Willy had a very similar performance. It gets your attention. That's something that could possibly happen as we go through the year.

Could you see a scenario where Korn plays a lot this week?
Bowden: No. How am I supposed to answer that? You are insinuating we are going to blow Furman out. Cullen is doing pretty good. At a later date? Yes.

Now that you looked at Monroe film, what concerns you most about your defense?
Bowden: Missed tackles and missed assignments. I'm not as concerned about missed assignments because it was a complex offense. More concerned about the missed tackles and the fundamentals involved. They were finishing their runs carrying guys towards the goal line and that's not good. That's something we are working today in full pads.

Are you considering moving any of your second team guys to the first team right now? Any players that may have stood out on film that deserve more playing time?
Bowden: We are a little concerned with our offensive line. We know we can perform a little better. There are scenarios we are looking at but Brad will be more comfortable waiting a day or so to announce any potential changes.

You've been praising Billy Napier (former Furman quarterback and current recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach) a lot since he's arrived at Clemson. Can you talk about what he brings to the table?
Bowden: His productivity. Put him in charge of punt block after we had five blocked and then we had zero blocked. His recruiting speaks for itself. He played the position of quarterback- which gives you an understanding of every position on the field. Right now, after two years with me he's shown that he can recruit and then his production on the field. He's got so many intangibles. The pedigree is there as well.

You have a pretty good record with beating teams that you are truly supposed to beat. What is your mindset in how you approach those kinds of games with your teams?
Bowden: I do think you have to talk about it. Don't talk so much about playing a lesser opponent but talk about playing better than the week before.

Isn't this truly a tune up game though before you play at N.C. State and Georgia Tech?
Bowden: I definitely would not call it a tune up game. That's the worst thing I could do to my players. We are not a polished football team right now. We've made a lot of mistakes. I don't look at it in that regard. We've got a whole lot of improvement to do. Defensively and offensively. That's how we will approach practice today and the rest of the week.

Does Furman get your attention with how they have played in recent years against North Carolina and Pittsburgh?
Bowden: In watching our cutups we watched last years games against North Carolina. North Carolina won that game very late. Coach Powell was under the table hiding so that definitely gets your attention. We are well aware of their capabilities.

Considering how set your offensive line was during fall camp are you surprised that you may have to make some changes this early in the season?
Bowden: No because we are facing live bullets. Things change when you face live bullets. Some guys duck, flinch, or close their eyes. That's what you can't imitate in practice. I'm not disappointed that's just the way it is.

When you look at the meat of the schedule does that (o-line) concern you more right now than your quarterback situation?
Bowden: Yeah. Right now. He has performed pretty well. I'd say we have some work to do in other areas.

How much have you seen of Jerome Felton and what do you know about him?
Bowden: If we tackle how we did Saturday we'll have a lot of problems. All the NFL scouts we see mention him. He's a draftable guy. Their quarterback has running skills and experience. Top Stories