Clemson Defense Hit Hard by Injuries


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CLEMSON -- Clemson was without two of its returning starters at linebacker in
Anthony Waters and Tramaine Billie at Boston College. They were ranked
first and third in tackles on the Clemson defensive last year,
respectively. Billie suffered a broken foot in the preseason and could
miss the entire season, while Waters tore an ACL in the opener against
Florida Atlantic and is lost for the season.

A third returning starter from Clemson’s 11th ranked scoring defense of 2005
is also injured. Michael Hamlin suffered broken foot while attempting
to make an interception in the fourth period of the Boston College game
and is out for at least 4-6 weeks. He will have surgery on Monday,
September 11. Cornerback C.J. Gaddis played sparingly due to sprained
ankle and is questionable for the Florida State game.

Hamlin is the third returning starter from 2005 on defense who will be
out for the Florida State game. Injuries had not been a problem in the
first seven years of the Bowden era. In his first seven seasons, a
total of 142 player games were missed due to injury, an average of 20.2
player games per season. That included 78 player games by would be
starters, an average of 11.1 player games per season. The most player
games missed due to injury since Tommy Bowden came to Clemson in 1999
was 40 by the
2002 team. That season there were 26 games missed due to injury by
would be starters, also the most in his era at Clemson.

Prior to this year, Bowden has had just five would be starters suffer
injuries within the first half of the season who missed he rest of the
season. Those players are Marcus Houskin, safety in 2001 who missed the
last 10 games of the year, Derrick Brantley, defensive tackle in 2002
who missed the last 11 games of the year, Toure Francis, CB, who missed
the last 12 games of the 2002 season, J.J. Howard, DE, who missed the
last seven games of 2003, and Vontrell Jamison, defensive tackle, who
missed the last eight games of 2004.

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