Bowden Cites Progress As Game Week Approaches

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - As fall camp transitions into game week, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden looks back on the last three weeks with some measure of satisfaction.

Though the true test of his team's improvement won't come until the opponents start lining up week after week, Bowden said Saturday that - from a practice standpoint - he can see significant strides being made.

"I feel like we've improved," he said. "The fans probably won't believe it until we play, but I think we're getting a lot better."

Among the areas Bowden cited were:

- The kicking game, particularly in the field goal area. Mark Buchholz has solidified his hold on the No. 1 spot by hitting kick after kick with all the pressure Bowden and staff can put on him in practice and scrimmages;

- Likewise with Jimmy Maners at punter, who with a slight adjustment in his mechanics has added better hang time to his already booming kicks;

- Kickoff coverage has been better, though this is the one area that won't get truly tested until Florida State returns one on Labor Day night;

- The hierarchy at quarterback has been established, with Cullen Harper as the clear-cut No. 1 heading into the first week.

That doesn't mean Willy Korn is headed for a redshirt. Quite to the contrary, Bowden addressed that question Saturday and said there are no plans to sit Korn for the 2007 season.

"I don't know how we could possibly do that," he said. "I haven't thought about redshirting him. I've thought about playing him."

Clemson is off Sunday, and the annual Beanie Bowl will be held Monday night at Death Valley.

Bowden's first weekly press conference is at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, and can be heard live on 104.9 FM, The Drive, in the Upstate, or on the Internet at

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