Originally created 09/05/01

Clemson's Bowden looking for improvement



CLEMSON, S.C. - Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says there's one focus for this week's game with Wofford, the country's smallest NCAA Division I football school - and it's not running up the score.

"Really, whether it's Wofford, Virginia, Florida State or South Carolina, you look for players to improve their performance from the first week to the second week," Bowden said Tuesday. "The mission or the goal is to show improvement across the board."

Some think Clemson's got a lot of improving to do. The Tiger nation, dreaming of the Bowl Championship Series, wasn't all thrilled after Clemson needed a touchdown on a fake field goal to defeat Central Florida 21-13.

The team dropped from 19th to 20th in this week's rankings as the offense struggled and Bowden moved highly touted freshman Roscoe Crosby into its featured X-wide out slot.

But Bowden looked to Fresno State's 44-24 dismantling of Oregon State - picked to win the national title by Sports Illustrated - for those griping too much.

Bowden said the separation between Fresno State and Oregon State was similar to Central Florida and Clemson. "I'm sure (Oregon State coach) Dennis Erickson would have been happy with a 21-13 win," Bowden said.

Wofford quarterback Travis Wilson said his team was very loose. "What are we, 40-point underdogs? Something like that," he said. "We're not supposed to even be in the game. We don't care."

The Terriers use an option attack that Clemson - or anyone in Division I-A - doesn't see much these days. However, if the Tigers stay at home and play "assignment football," linebacker John Leake said "we can really make some strides."

FSU-CLEMSON TV: Get those tailgate plans ready - Florida State at Clemson will start at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 3.

Clemson spokesman Tim Bourret said Tuesday that ABC-TV would cover the third matchup between father Bobby Bowden and son Tommy Bowden.

LEZOTTE HONORED: Former Westside High School standout Matt LeZotte was named Atlantic 10 rookie of the week for his performance in James Madison's 42-21 win against Elon.

The red-shirt freshman quarterback threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more. He was 11 of 17 for 143 yards and no interceptions, and he ran seven times for 61 yards.

LeZotte injured his left shoulder (non throwing) in the third quarter of Saturday night's game and is not expected to play this weekend against New Hampshire.

SEC HONORS: Florida quarterback Rex Grossman has been named the Southeastern Conference offensive player of the week after completing 20-of-30 passes for a career-high 375 yards and three touchdowns in the Gators' season-opening 49-14 victory over Marshall.

Free safety Ken Hamlin of Arkansas is the defensive player of the week. Hamlin accounted for 11 total tackles, including two for losses, an interception, fumble recovery and two pass deflections in the Razorbacks' 14-10 victory over UNLV.



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