Clemson University

Swinney backs Noles' Bowden

CLEMSON - Granted, it's not as if Dabo Swinney was going to call for Florida State coach Bobby Bowden's ouster.

But when asked for his take on Bowden's fight to choose how long he remains with the Seminoles, Swinney offered strong words in support of his fellow coach, whom he also has gotten to know through former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden.

"He is Florida State," Swinney said. "I don't remember clearly, but I never knew about Florida State - ever - when I was growing up. I never heard of them until Bobby Bowden got there and started playing everybody.

"How many seats do they have down there? Eighty-three thousand? How many tickets were they selling before he got there? He has earned the opportunity to leave on his own accord."

Swinney recounted the tale of how warmly Bowden treated him when they first met while Swinney was in Tallahassee, Fla., to recruit safety DeAndre McDaniel.

Swinney likened Bowden's stature to that of legendary former Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

"I remember to this day and walking out of ... class in the eighth grade in the hallway and hearing coach Bryant died," Swinney said. "I just couldn't believe it. I remember when Elvis died. ... But let me tell you, coach Bryant, no one ran him out of Alabama.

"I look at it as the same thing. He came there and they were losing and he made them into a powerhouse."

Bowden turns 80 Sunday.

Injury updates

Tight end Michael Palmer expects to play Saturday despite still dealing with occasional headaches stemming from the concussion sustained in the Oct. 24 win at Miami.

Palmer has been withheld from contact at practice this week but hopes to be allowed to hit today.

"I need to get hit before the game, if for nothing else than my mental sake, just to see how I react," he said.

Also, Swinney said that while defensive end Da'Quan Bowers (sprained MCL) "looked good" in Monday's light workout, "I don't see him playing this week.

"If he keeps improving like he has, I think we get him back quicker than later."

Junior receiver Terrance Ashe will return this week as well. He sat out the Coastal Carolina game as a precautionary measure for a shoulder injury, but the staff also wanted to distribute snaps among the inexperienced receivers.

Toe nadir

Running back C.J. Spiller revealed Tuesday that his nagging turf toe nearly kept him out of the Coastal Carolina win.

Spiller and Swinney agreed last week that Spiller would inform Swinney on Thursday whether he would play. Spiller did not want to start because he had practiced sparingly during the week, but Swinney declined that request.

Spiller, who played 16 snaps, said his toe feels as rested as it did after Clemson's bye week.

Extra points

Swinney said he hasn't received any text messages from Tommy Bowden about this week's game. "He's been pretty quiet lately," Swinney said. ... Receivers coach Jeff Scott said he anticipates sophomore receiver Marquan Jones getting increased snaps after producing key blocks on two of Clemson's rushing touchdowns against Coastal Carolina.

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