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Tommy Bowden (24:50)
Listen to Tommy Bowden answer questions about the season and the overall performance of the Tigers this year in this audio clip from his weekly press conference.
On Execution last Thursday against N.C. State:
"We had some drops. The biggest problems were short yardage and goal line. Then we also missed some open receivers. Then, of course, we had too many turnovers. Those would be the biggest things we've got to correct to make an improvement. We were open several times Thursday night and we couldn't' get the ball to them. There was a 15-yard area in the middle of the field open a bunch, and I think we hit it once. That's something you have to hit."
On Duke's Improved Defense:
"They don't want you to run. They outnumber you and they blitz. He'll put a lot of pressure on our outside guys (corners and safeties) to make plays. They make it very difficult to run the ball. They force you to throw and catch."
On Clemson's Offensive Strategy against Duke:
"We can't turn the ball over. You can't get into predictable situations. We need to avoid penalties or sacks or anything that can put you in an obvious passing situation. You don't want to be one-dimensional. You have to be able to execute your offense against them. You have to be patient when you throw the ball because they will drop eight guys into coverage. You're going to have a lot of time, but the windows are going to be small. You have to be patient and stay with it. To me, those are the keys to Saturday's game."
On Disappointments so far this season:
"The biggest disappointment over the course of this season would be offensive execution in the last two weeks, against Wake Forest and against N.C. State. Statistically, we had made an improvement in so many areas offensively over the first five games, then we did not turn the ball over when we beat Wake Forest. Then, all of a sudden, we kind of went flat. So that would probably be the biggest disappointment to date."
On Clemson's strong corners (Brian Mance and Justin Miller):
"Both of them have done really well this year, at two different extremes. You've got one that's a senior (Mance), and then the other is a true freshman (Miller) that is starting. But both of them have had really productive years. Their tackling has been good. Both have made big plays. Justin Miller had as big a hit as we've had in a while on the goal line the other night against N.C. State. Both of them are good return people. We'd take a bunch more like them. It's good for Brian because he's been here a long time. The secondary got a lot of criticism last year. It's obvious that his confidence is up because he's a really good player and is showing that the criticism wasn't really justified."
On Clemson's Lack of Success at Duke recently:
"It's very difficult to play up there, without a doubt. There probably will be a small crowd relative to what we have seen the last two weeks and there and not much noise. You have a hard time getting the kids' attention before the game and getting them to be serious. You talk to them all week. When you go out there and take that 100-yard walk to the field, there's just nobody there. The environment makes it really difficult. That has more to do with it than anything."
On Clemson's Quarterback Situation
"I will watch our quarterbacks (Willie Simmons and Charlie Whitehurst) in practice this week and evaluate as we go along. There will be competition. When I decide you will be the first to know."