Sunday Bowden Teleconference

Head coach Tommy Bowden discusses Saturday's loss to Alabama, looks ahead to next week.

FILM WORK: Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden met with the media Sunday afternoon for his weekly teleconference and said he has already watched every snap of the Alabama game on film.

However, just like he said Saturday night, the main problem area occurred at the line of scrimmage.

"The biggest thing is the point of attack," he said. "They are a very physical offensive line and defensive line. They pretty much whipped us on both sides of the ball. I really haven't seen us manhandled like that in the last three or four years. I surely didn't expect it."

Bowden said the problems continued with both his first and second team linemen- especially with the redshirt freshmen.

"Cloy played a good bit," he said. "Chris Hairston is a sophomore. We might look at Wilson Norris. We'll meet after this [teleconference] and go over grades. I've looked at it all."

UNEXPECTED UNRAVELLING: With Clemson trailing 23-3 at halftime, Bowden compared Saturday night's loss to other lopsided affairs in recent years, including Virginia Tech's 41-point loss at LSU and Southern California's stunning upset at home to Stanford last season.

Still, it was something he and the coaching staff never saw coming.

"Sometimes you just don't know. I'm just trying to think of what Pete Carroll said after Stanford. They were a 40-point underdog and they won the game," he said. "I told them what was going to come with the preseason hype we've got. When you start out with a quality opponent.

"We don't know how good Alabama and we'll find out through the course of the year. They look pretty good last night. I guess it would be the same way Virginia Tech wasn't ready for LSU [last season]. You got to take human error into it."

QUESTIONING TOUGHNESS: Bowden responded to the notion the Tigers aren't tough enough by talking about his team's practice habits.

"Well you know we have closed practice so that's hard for an outsider to see," he said. We don't open them. If you look at us in the past, we surely didn't practice any different than how we have in the last three years. Or different than what we did against Florida State last year.

"Toughness hasn't been questioned for three years. When you lose like that, anonymous guys are going to pop up [and question every aspect of the team]. I was very surprised we got manhandled the way we did."

OFFENSIVE LINE SOLUTIONS: After rushing for just one yard last night, Bowden said he will be forced to consider additional options on the offensive line.

One of those options could involve true freshman Matt Sanders.

"We'll probably have to take [student-coach] Bobby Hutchinson out of the coaching profession. We got Wilson Norris and Mason Cloy. We might take Matt Sanders ... we might take a redshirt year off of him."

FIRST CARRY WAS PROMISED TO HARPER: Bowden was asked specifically if freshman running back Jamie Harper was promised the first carry of the year and also if he would continue to similar recruiting tactics after Harper fumbled on his first touch of the football in a Clemson uniform.

He responded, "Yes. Oh yes. Shoot yeah. Did it for C.J. Did it for James. Did for Justin Miller. They were very productive players. That fumble- they kicked a field gaol. We could have scred one touchdown and rectify that turnover. That fumble didn't cost us the game."

QUICK HITS: The injuries to Jacoby Ford (concussion) and Ricky Sapp are not believed to be serious, but their status for next week and the rest of the season won't be known officially until tomorrow according to Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret. Barry Humphries is having an MRI done Sunday and his status will also be updated Monday as well. ... Bowden said he will be challenging his team's pride this week in practice.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "There's a lot left out there we just have to regroup. It's never acceptable regardless. You don't want this in the first year, the last year or middle of a contract. In a 12 game schedule, most teams are going to have one. Southern Cal had one like that last year with Stanford." - Tommy Bowden Top Stories