Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Fracas Loses Some Glamour Elder Bowden Says Loss May Help Clemson

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Family Fracas Loses Some Glamour Elder Bowden Says Loss May Help Clemson

Article excerpt

TALLAHASSEE -- As a child, Tommy Bowden was the practical joker among Bobby and Ann's six children; the one most likely to tattle on a sibling and laugh at their expense.

"Tommy was always the jokester," Florida State coach Bobby Bowden said. "He was the guy that always got somebody in trouble. He'd go tell on Terry and Terry would get spanked."

The mischevious days of Tommy's youth may finally be catching up to the second-year Clemson coach. Saturday's 31-28 loss to Georgia Tech not only knocked the Tigers from the ranks of the unbeaten, but extinguished their national championship hopes as they tumbled from No. 5 to No. 10 in the polls. Clemson's demise came at the most untimely of moments -- with a trip to Florida State dead ahead.

Florida State tuned up for Bowden Bowl II -- Saturday's home game against the Tigers (8-1, 6-1) -- with a 58-14 throttling of North Carolina State, scoring all of its points over the final three quarters. Bobby Bowden said the 45-minute flogging of the Wolfpack was, "the best we've played as a team this season."

With Nebraska also suffering its first loss of the season, the Seminoles (8-1, 7-0) climbed two spots in the polls to No. 4 --collecting a first-place vote in The Associated Press poll -- as they continued their climb toward a third consecutive national championship game appearance.

N.C. State coach Chuck Amato, who spent 18 seasons as an FSU assistant, now knows what it's like to be on the wrong side of a Seminoles team driving toward a championship.

"They yanked our pants down in front of 52,000 people and gave us a spanking," Amato said. "That is their whole mode of operation -- the national championship. It's going to take a professional team to beat them because they want another ring."

Despite the dominant performance -- higlighted by a resurgent running attack (324 yards), their sixth defensive score of the season (Tay Cody's 52-yard interception return) and first blocked kick (Stanford Samuels' punt block) -- the elder Bowden is plenty concerned about the Tigers. …

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