One of the things you've been hanging on to is the talent is there and you are really close, so did yesterday give you a little bit of a glimpse of what you had been hoping to see?
Bowden: Yeah, I think that is factual. We've been close every darn game but we haven't won (some) ... Yeah. Instead of them getting all the turnovers, we got the turnovers. Our kicking game won yesterday. We blocked a punt. They didn't block anything. They didn't return anything. They didn't get any kickoff returns. We didn't have any turnovers on the kicking game. So we won the kicking game and got some turnovers. Whereas against Maryland, I'm not sure we got any turnovers and they won the kicking game. You're that close. There are some teams, there have been times in the past, not lately, where we could have won all of that and still wasn't good enough Ð back in the olden days. Now we are good enough to win. If y'all make mistakes and we don't, we'll probably win.
That's all we harped on last week was turnovers. I told the kids, you go out there and do everything you can, do everything you want to do, but if you turn the ball over ... We're going to win if you don't turn it over. It happened that we did. They did turn it over. Now if they don't turn it over and you don't turn it over, you've got a dogfight.
But anyway, we finally got one.
Do you remember your team going this late into the season without one of your teams having a turnover-free game? It's the ninth game of the season, and it's the first time you haven't turned the ball over at least once.
Bowden: I didn't know that. I can't remember one because I haven't kept up with it. That's all it takes in a close game. I know we preach to our kids all the time. I'll say, 'Men Ð because that's what I've been told; that's what I've noticed Ð when they play the Super Bowl, it's all about turnovers. Nothing else.' They are so good that whoever turns it over is probably going to lose.
I mentioned that to my kids a lot, but you've got to make it happen.
Did you watch the Wake Forest-Boston College game?
Bowden: I'm trying to think how much of it I saw . . . I'd say I saw most of it.
How surprised are you by the position Wake is going to be in coming into this game, contending for a spot in the ACC championship game?
Bowden: Wake ... The fact that its Wake makes you ... It's a surprise. You don't expect them to be up there. But, and I haven't studied them that much, but like I say, you can take Vanderbilt, you can take Wake, you can take schools that have less resources than Oklahoma, Texas, and us, and Florida and Miami. And they can take a freshman class in, and if they want to do it, and redshirt them. Then the next year play them, and get whipped. Then the next year play them again and be better. By the fourth year they are going to be pretty doggone good, you know it? Just maturity ... They've gotten them stronger. They play better together. Things like that. And I have a feeling, this is kind of one of those ... It seems like, and I haven't studied their personnel, but going into the season it seemed like they had more guys coming back than anybody in the conference. Now, how many of them are seniors, I don't know. Again, the maturity of a team. You can have talent, but be immature. We've got a lot of talent. These young guys are going to be good, but they are learning to play. Maybe they will play great, and then make a mistake in a close game could cost you.
Do you think that is the only way for a program like Wake to close the talent gap is to have this success once every five years?
Bowden: I think that's the way he's chosen to go. From what I understand up there, he redshirts all of his freshmen. I'm amazed he can do that because most of us can't afford to. What would we do this year if we couldn't play freshmen? With all the injuries we've had, what could we do, man.
You've mentioned several times that Jim Grobe is an excellent coach. What sticks out about what he does?
Bowden: No. 1, to go to the University of Ohio and win all of your games is pretty good. Nobody was doing that and he goes there and wins all his games, and when he leaves it goes down again. Then he comes to Wake, and then you play against him, and play against him, and see how hard he is to defense. You see how hard he plays defense. It makes you say that guy really does a good job.
Now this is the first year in a long time he's done what he's done this year.
You've mentioned that the kind of red-shirting he does you'd never be able to do because of the nature of the athletes you get.
Bowden: That's true, too. Otherwise ... Here's the thing about it. Florida is a great example. You've got the state of Florida, and you could say the same thing about Texas, the same thing about California, and you could probably say the same thing about Georgia. California, Texas, Florida and Georgia are probably your leading college produces of football players. Everybody recruits in Georgia, everybody comes to Florida, everybody goes to Texas, everybody goes to California. So therefore there are a lot of players down here that are going to get scholarships Ð probably 150 a year, 1-A. That's the way we've always talked about it.
All right, let's say in the state of Florida you've got 20 outstanding receivers, which you probably have. You take next year. We only lose Chris Davis and we lose (Robert Hallback), who was a walk on. The rest of them are back. So we'll probably try to bring in two wide receivers, maybe even three.
Florida, I don't know how many they lose. I know they lose at least one, or two. They'll probably bring in two or three. Miami, how many do they lose? They might lose one. So if we brought in two, and Florida brought in two and Miami brought in two, that's six. Well, there are 14 others who are pretty doggone good. Where are they going to go?
They are going to go to Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas, and so and so. And they might end up better than what you took but you made a choice. We'd love to have all of them, but you can't get them, so I think we'll take this one. Well, if you take that one, you can't get this one. So ... I almost forget what I'm driving at ... (You can't red-shirt a lot of your recruits) ... Yeah, now, they don't want to red-shirt. Some of those guys, if you say, 'Son, you come to our school and I'm going to red-shirt you your first year. I'll hold you out, OK.' He'll say, 'I can start over yonder. I'm going over there.' So a lot of our guys, if I tell them I'm going to play them, I've got to play them. Then a lot of them have such good talent, they are only going to be there for three years anyway, you know.
Wake comes down here and they are going to get somebody, and he turns out to be good, but he doesn't realize he's got the stuff to play up in the NFL and he's content to red-shirt, you know. That's just an example. I know it's not that way all the time. But anyway, if you get a guy like Ernie Sims, are you going to red-shirt him? You can, but I'm not going to tell him.
You say, 'Would you ever red-shirt?' Yeah, if they got hurt, got an injury. If they couldn't play, you wouldn't want to waste it. You can say the same thing about Texas, same thing about Georgia, same thing about Notre Dame ... The schools that have been at the top most of the time.
Does a school like Wake Forest, because of its size and reputation, have to do a better job of recruiting? A more thorough job than you do? They have to find the diamond in the rough, don't they?
Bowden: That's probably why they are sharper than anybody else. No. 1, I'll never forget when I first came to Florida State back in '76. When we first came here we couldn't get the great athletes to visit. 'Visit Florida State? No, I'm going to Georgia, I'm going to Alabama, and I'm going to Florida and I'll visit so-and-so and so-and-so. I'm not going to visit Florida State.' We had a hard time selling them to come to your school. So, some of the schools, unless you are in the top echelon, some of the schools have that problem. I was mentioning that to Bill Yeoman, who was the head coach at Houston (1962-86) about that. I said, 'You're fighting Texas. How do you get the kids that Texas wants? How do you get those good kids to Houston?' Because Houston had just gotten into the conference out there and won it a couple of times, which was unheard of. He said, 'We try to get guys that want to go to Houston. We try to get guys who want to play for Houston.' And there is something to that. You get a loyal kid who will fight and who loves it at Houston, that's better than bringing in a star that comes there (asking) 'What all are y'all going to do for me? Look how lucky you are to have me.'
So (Wake) must do a great job on getting kids who want to go to Wake Forest that they can see the potential.
Another thing to remember is this: When you are signing 17 year olds, they ain't through growing yet. It's a guessing game. This kid over here is 6-foot tall. But in three years he'll be 6-foot-three, maybe.
I always think of (Andre) Wadsworth, who came here, walked on ... He was probably 6-2, 218, something like that. He left here 6-5, 285. Ran a 4.6 40. Got drafted first round.
Kamerion Wimbley was about 210 when he got here, wasn't he?
Bowden: Probably around that, and could run. He grew up to be a nice first-rounder. From what I understand, he's playing pretty good up there (Cleveland).
... There's a lot of guessing going on right there ... Wake does a great .. Their kids are hungry. They always have been hungry.
A couple of weeks ago Boston College coach Tom O'Brien was secretive about whether quarterback Matt Ryan would play against you. Now, because you haven't announced whether Xavier Lee or Drew Weatherford will start against Wake, are you enjoying being in that position of making Wake Forest guess?
Bowden: Where I can hide it? I don't usually play that game. There are some coaches that don't want you to know because they think you'll prepare wrong. I've always felt like No. 1, my boy needed to know. I haven't always done that, though. Sometimes I haven't been sure. But if I do know, I feel like my guy, 'Son, you've got the ball this week.' And I want my team to know this is the guy we're going to do it with.
Then sometimes, I might want the other coach to know because their team might say, 'Oh boy, the first-team quarterback is out. They are starting the second-teamer. We've got them.' Which is a bad attitude to have. So I've never tried to hide that, but again there might have been times where I might not have been sure myself.
There are some where that is vital. That's their nature. Their nature is to deceive you as much as they can ... I can name some. Probably a lot of them. But I don't know if I've ever been that way or not.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Posted by tallynolefan at 7:44 AM