Coach Bowden Weekly Teleconference

Bobby Bowden held his weekly ACC teleconference this afternoon where he talked about the game last week, the health of Ty Jones and A.J. Ganguzza, the quarterback situation and about some of the talk that's been going around college football this week.

Opening Statement:

BB: Yesterday was real hot in practice, and we did not have a real good practice. For some reason the kids weren't in it. We're a little thin at tailback now; we lost Ty Jones this week and I doubt he'll be back this week. We already lost one tailback so we're thin so we have to stay healthy there. Then we had another injury to one of our centers, so we had to move one of our guards to center. Furlong will work as a second center, also Rodney Hudson can play center. We're getting thin, you know, we're just fighting like mad till we get our guys back.

On Christian Ponder:

BB: You're not gonna know the answers until you play a Division 1 team…you're not going to find the true answer until then. The only thing I can say about last week, you know because we did have them outmanned so bad, is that I didn't see anything wrong. If you see something glaring in a game like that, you think uh-oh we've got problems. So far I did not see that happen. Are the quarterbacks capable in this league? Yeah, I think they're capable.

On the decision to go with Ponder over Drew:

BB: Well, I let Jimbo make the decision. I support everything he does and I really have a lot of confidence in him; that's why I hired him. I thought their play showed that (along with D'Vontrey Richardson). They both made significant runs, and that's one of the things he based his decision on.

What he liked about Christian against Western Carolina:

BB: I like how never caved in. You know he didn't make all great throws. Once he got warmed up he did. But he didn't cave in at all.

On the Washington penalty that cost them the game versus BYU:

BB: You know I didn't really see it. All I saw was the guy threw the ball over his shoulder. If he threw it on the ground, what's the difference in that if he threw it over his shoulder? I didn't see enough to really make a judgment. You know the thing that really disturbs you is that officials are different. One of them calls the dive penalty. We had that happen in the Kentucky bowl last year where one of our kids intercepted a pass, made a great play and dove into the end zone. We get a 15 yard flag, which is okay if you're going to call that on everybody, but every Saturday I see these other teams that dive, roll, flip and everything else that doesn't get called. The inconsistency of the thing that disturbs me. That one up there I don't know if it's justified or not.

On the "spirit" of the rule:

BB: What is the spirit of the rule? Read it to me (laughs). Did that take away from the spirit of the game? If a toss would have been within two yards of them (the refs), no, but if ends up 15 yards away then yeah.

On the play of Bert Reed and the younger players:

BB: You know I forgot how much fun it was. We always open up with schools like Miami and Clemson and schools like that for the last 5 or 6 years, and it's a dogfight that's one of those 10-7 ballgames. I really like Bert Reed. I hope he can do those things throughout the season. If he can stay healthy, he's capable of doing that.

On the celebration stuff:

BB: Maybe the rule should be if you don't do anything that makes the official go out of the way that's okay…if you leave the ball in front, lay it beside you, lay it behind you…if you make them chance the ball then maybe that's a restriction. Gosh, you hate to take the excitement out of the game. These kids, of course we tell our kids that if you score a touchdown don't make out like it's the first time you ever did it in your life, make out like it's an everyday thing; make it boring. But you know these kids see television and they see what all these pros do. Next they'll be jumping over the goalpost.

On the 2 QB system:

BB: We'll let it develop, if they can succeed and if they can be successful that could sure develop into Jimbo's thinking. I've got no qualms about that, if it happens. It was good the other night.

On D'Vo:

BB: Once he started the spring he became a different football player. His first year here we redshirted him, and then he went and played baseball that first spring. Then last he came back and his development started from that. It shows the importance of practice. When he was a freshmen trying to operate at there, you looked at him and thought in 3 years maybe he'll be able to play some. Once he started devoting his full time, then you said, oh, the quarterbacks better keep improving because this kid is going to be a threat.

On Tennessee-Chattanooga and the improvement he hopes to see this week:

BB: Here's the thing; number one we feel Chattanooga is much stronger then Western Carolina, especially physically. They played each other last year and it was that way. Therefore I think you're going to see a better football team against us. Now, the other thing is you scored 69 points last week and get a shut out, you think you can show improvement. We might show improvement and in fact we probably will, but necessarily the score. Here is what happens with the 1st and 2nd game…the first game you haven't played the game yet, the kids are nervous and a lot of are playing their first games. They go out and make mistakes, they fumble, they lay ball down and they do this and do that. So the next game they learn to eliminate that and they learn to do better. Now, the thing about it is we didn't turn it over, so I think overall we will improve but I don't think we'll see a score like that. We'll work like mad to duplicate what we did last week.

Coach Bowden was also asked about the big game with USC going against Ohio State and the importance of it. He said the big thing is that the team that loses doesn't get down on themselves and that the coaches don't panic and try to make drastic changes. Also, he says the team that wins can't get too confident about themselves and think they're better than they are.

Also, he talked about the interruptions from the weather delay last week and how it was the first time he really ever had to go through that. He said he remembers playing in torrential storms against Pitt and Florida, and that they used to "not have any sense" and played in lightning. He said that the team has felt the impact more in practice over the years, talking about how last year going into the season-opening game against Clemson they missed 4 practices due to lightning. He said they're in the process of raising money for an indoor practice facility and about how important it is not be able to practice.

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