Scott's Injury Another Blow To Clemson Defense


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CLEMSON - Could Clemson be without yet another defensive starter for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl?

Having already lost linebackers Tremaine Billie and Nick Watkins to academics and with fellow LB Cortney Vincent's status still up in the air after his DUI arrest, things are already tight on that side of the ball. Add to it Thursday's latest blow and suddenly the Tigers could be in even more trouble.

Defensive lineman Dorrell Scott suffered an abdomen injury during the Thursday afternoon workout, according to Sports Information Director Tim Bourret. The severity of the injury and Scott's subsequent status won't be known until Friday at the earliest, Bourret said.

"Hopefully he can get back...That can put a dent in you pretty quick," head coach Tommy Bowden said. "You expect those second (team) guys to step up, but again they're second for a reason."

Scott's status pending, the depleted linebacking corps presents an issue for Bowden and his coaching staff.

Auburn is a big, physical team and Clemson's lack of quality depth at those positions can be exposed over the course of a 60 minute football game. Some coaches might choose to counter by trying to become more of a ball-control offense, hoping to win the battle for time of possession and - in the process - keep the defense on the sidelines as long as possible.

But not Bowden.

"We won't try to change. There's a play-calling system and an offensive structure," he said. "We won't adjust that at all. (Defensive coordinator) Vic (Koening's) the one who will have to adjust with personnel, possibly some nickel stuff or something like that."

Clemson will practice from 8-10 a.m. on Friday, then the players will be excused to spend Christmas with their families.

They are to report to the team hotel in time for a meeting at 8 p.m. on Christmas night.


UPDATE


After meeting with doctors it has been determined that Scott just has a strained lower abdominal injury. He
will miss Clemson's final practice on Friday, but will be able to play in the bowl game against Auburn.

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