Friday Insider Notebook

CLEMSON – Because the Tigers haven't had any arrests or players suspended from games due to cutting classes, that's all part of the reason as to why Tommy Bowden thinks this is a special team.

Because of the way the players have conducted themselves over the past six months has led Clemson football coach Tommy Bowden to believe he has a championship caliber team.

After three weeks of practice, Bowden added that he is very pleased with where his team is and that he likes the effort the players have given on and off the field.

Also, the Tigers haven't had any arrests or players suspended from games due to cutting classes, that's all part of the reason as to why Bowden thinks this is a special team.

"We've worked pretty hard," he said. "I think a good indication was back in the spring and back in the summer when our guys have pretty much made good decisions and been out of trouble. That's always a good sign that you've got pretty good leadership or a pretty good core group of guys. … I think we're about as far a long as we can be right now."

That being said, Bowden said there's only one thing standing in the way of Clemson making a run for a division and league championship.

"I'd say we'd have as good a chance as anybody in the conference," he said. "But, it all depends on how our quarterback responds to things and how he plays. If he responds like Wake Forest's did and we give him the support, then we've got as good a chance as anybody else."

OH, SO SPECIAL: Bowden said he really likes the way the kickoff coverage team has performed during fall camp. He can tell a difference between now and last season.

"I've got my fingers crossed in our coverage," Bowden said. "It's looked really good. We haven't even had one close to spitting out. We've done four live ones every scrimmage, that's 12 and none of them have come close. Gosh, that would have gotten us through the whole year last year."

But he added that he won't really know how things will be until the Florida State game.

"I saw the special teams guy at Auburn and he said there ain't nobody who knows," Bowden said. "You just wait and see."

On a side note, placekicker and soccer player Mark Buchholz is handling the kickoff duties now as well.

Buchholz will practice Saturday morning then has to drive to Atlanta for a soccer match at 4 p.m., against Georgia State.

QUICK HITS: There were no injuries Friday and freshman linebacker Brandon Maye was the only player dressed in yellow as he recovers from a foot injury. … Freshman cornerback Marcus Gilchrist is being worked at punt return and kickoff return.

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