The Clemson players responded by dominating the No. 3 Seminoles. The Tigers (6-4) stuffed the Florida State running game, holding the Seminoles to 11 yards on the ground, and forced three turnovers, a remarkable turnaround for a defense that Wake Forest had steamrolled for 321 rushing yards. "It may sound crazy, but we actually match up better against Florida State than we do Wake because Wake does some very unconventional things," Tommy said.
For the elder Bowden, the loss effectively ended his team's national championship hopes in addition to putting a damper on his 74th birthday. He made sure to quash any notion that he had taken it easy on his son in light of Tommy's precarious situation, but he added some praise for him. "They had a great plan," Bobby said. "It was like they had an off week to prepare, but they didn't."
After the game, Tommy refused to discuss his job security. "That's really a matter for [the administration] to decide," he said. The talk will undoubtedly continue. When the two Bowdens met at midfield, Bobby embraced his son and said, "Congratulations. This ought to make your job safe for another five days."
He was joking, but only partly. "You're only as good as your next game," Tommy says. "That's one thing I learned from my dad."