Practice Report

Here are coach Bobby Bowden's comments following Saturday's practice. And, no, there won't be a quarterback change against Clemson -- Chris Rix remains the starter. "We'll go just like we have been," Bowden said. "It'll be a play-by-play thing. We're just trying to get the other quarterbacks as much work as we can, just in case. But it'd be mighty hard to judge a quarterback - it'd be unfair - playing in the weather like we played last week against a pretty dang good football team."

You've had a chance now to study the film. What did you see?

"I saw two teams playing pretty equally and probably one play separating the winner. One play. But if we could have made one more, maybe we would've won it. But they made the play and we didn't. It was a pretty equal ballgame. Because of the weather, I think it was kind of sloppy on both sides. And I think you saw the difference between a senior quarterback and a sophomore quarterback. Their quarterback's the same guy we had down here and shut out [two] years [ago] when he was a sophomore. Now he's a senior, and he just did a magnificent job. Our guy, I thought, did an excellent job for a sophomore."

Yesterday, you were asked whether you would reassess the quarterback situation, whether you would consider playing Adrian McPherson earlier.

"It's might hard to do when you've got a ballgame and you're a touchdown ahead or you're three points ahead or you're tied, which is the way that ballgame was. To put a new guy in that's not got the experience handling a wet ball and you don't know how he'll respond to it. .... And I'd have to be the final say-so on something like that. That's one thing I have to do as the head coach."

What about this week against Clemson?

"We'll go just like we have been. It'll be a play-by-play thing. We're just trying to get the other quarterbacks as much work as we can, just in case. But it'd be mighty hard to judge a quarterback - it'd be unfair - playing in the weather like we played last week against a pretty dang good football team, especially defensively. They were a veteran defensive team and big and athletic."

Does Chris continue to take all the first-team snaps in practice?

"Yes."

The defense used to be a "stone wall," especially in inclement weather, but it wasn't on Thursday night. Your thoughts on that?"

"Well, they did some good things and then they did some inconsistent things. Until we get it consistent all 60 minutes, there's going to be a struggle going on. The first half of that football game we held 'em to two field goals, made a goal-line stand. They might have had a 1st-and-one on the one and didn't score; we intercepted it. They did some darn good things, especially the first half. If they could have played as good in the second half. But I think a lot of it you have to credit to their quarterback. Their quarterback, he just really made some good plays in that kind of weather, which I don't see how he did. He threw the ball well, moved around the pocket well. He might have been the leading rusher. I'm not sure. ...."

What is your sense of how these guys are handling the loss and what's their attitude is now?

"I thought we had a very spirited practice today. We had a good meeting today, a solid meeting. And you can't expect them to celebrate when they've lost. They're pretty quiet and subdued."

Is their confidence in each other where you want it to be?

"I think so. Yeah, I think so. I can't read each of them's mind. We lost a ballgame. It ain't the first game we ever lost. I can name a lot of teams in the country this year that have lost a ballgame. It happens every year."

On talk radio, many are saying there's not a leader on this team. You find that to be true?

"I haven't seen a lack of leadership. I haven't seen it. You can't pay any attention to the talk shows."


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