Tigers receive bad news on Bowers' knee


by - Senior Writer -
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Da’Quan Bowers was hurt in the first quarter of Saturday’s 49-3 win over Coastal Carolina.


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CLEMSON -- The Clemson Tigers have perhaps their biggest game in Death Valley in two years this coming Saturday when the Florida St. Seminoles come calling, and even though the team is relatively healthy, they will more than likely be without the services of defensive end Da’Quan Bowers.
Bowers was injured in the first quarter of Saturday’s 49-3 win over Coastal Carolina, and was carrying his crutches following the game in what was described as a PCL sprain. Bowers appeared to walk without much effort, and pronounced that he would be ready for Saturday’s 7:45 contest against the Seminoles.


However, the Clemson medical staff reviewed the results of his MRI [taken Saturday after he was injured], and they have determined that the injury is more serious than originally thought, and he now has what is categorized as a strained MCL in addition to the PCL. He is now listed as doubtful for Florida St., and may have to miss more than one game.

“I got some bad information, and I would say he's probably doubtful right now for this week, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said during his weekly teleconference. “Information I initially got was a sprained PCL and he was going to be fine. He told me that, too. But it looks like there may be more involved. I'd say he's doubtful for this week. Everybody else should be ready to go. Terrance Ashe will be back and we'll get Michael Palmer back. If Da'Quan is not able to play, that would be a big blow for us.”

Swinney then said that being able to play a lot of players on the defensive line so far this season will pay benefits if Bowers is out.

"Fortunately, we've played a lot of guys this year,” Swinney said. “Our other guys have played as many snaps as Da'Quan. Malliciah [Goodman] hasn’t played meaningless snaps. I thought he had his best game Saturday. He'll have to step it up along with [Andre] Branch and [Kevin] Alexander. All those guys will have to step up and replace Da'Quan if he can't play. Branch can play either side. He's definitely the guy that can go to either spot."


Defensive line 2 deep depth chart

Pos. 	#  Player 		Hgt Wgt Cl.
DE 	97 MALLICIAH GOODMAN 	6-4 265 Fr.
	40 Andre Branch 	6-5 265 *So.
NG 	99 JARVIS JENKINS 	6-4 310 Jr.
	8  Jamie Cumbie 	6-7 290 *Jr.
	89 Miguel Chavis 	6-5 285 Jr.
DT 	98 BRANDON THOMPSON 	6-3 305 So.
	94 Rennie Moore 	6-4 265 *So.
BE 	7  RICKY SAPP 		6-5 240 Sr.
	40 Andre Branch 	6-5 265 *So.

Swinney said that after reviewing the tape of the Coastal Carolina game, the staff was pleased with the overall effort.

“The grades were pretty good, and it was a good team win,” Swinney said. “It was an opponent that we should dominate and we did. They didn't get across the fifty until the fourth quarter. We held them to 27 yards passing. That's a phenomenal accomplishment right there – I don't care who you're playing. But there are still a lot of things we can improve on. I thought Corico Hawkins played well. Rashard Hall played well and got player of the game. Rennie [Moore] and Miguel [Chavis] stepped it up, same thing with Malliciah and Andre.”

Swinney said that being to run the football without much trouble was also a bright spot for the offense.

"We had 252 yards rushing,” he said. “We were dominant at the point of attack. We got to play a lot of guys. We're continuing to get better on third down and short yardage. We have to do a little better job on the backside. We're still coaching attention to details. We had a couple of guys that didn't play with the fire I would have liked, but overall a good win.”

Swinney said that the Seminoles, who have been scoring points in bunches this season, have the Tigers’ full attention.

"We have to turn the page this week,” he said. “Everyone is very familiar with Florida State. It's a really talented team. I don't care what their record says. They've created some momentum winning at UNC and then against N.C. State. It's the biggest game of the year for us. We have a tough task on our hands. They're as good offensively as we've played, just studying them today. They've really gotten it going. They're throwing the ball and catching the ball as well as anybody, scoring over 30 points a game.

“They seem to be getting their confidence back. [FSU quarterback Christian] Ponder is dangerous. He loves to run the ball. He runs with some passion and some toughness. He's looking like a red-shirt junior now. They have a bunch of guys back up front who have played a lot of ball. Receivers are starting to come on and make some plays."

Swinney was asked if the thinks the game will be a shootout and if he thinks it would be a case where the Tigers win in a shootout.

"We don't go into a ballgame like that,” he said. “We just have to execute on both sides of the ball. It's about us playing sound on defense, doing our job, lining up properly and with a relentless effort. We try to do a great job of stopping the run game. We just need to execute and pay attention to details and not worry about the scoreboard. Whether we win 2-0 or 45-44, it doesn't matter. We just want to find a way to win the game."

Swinney then went on to say that game takes on added importance, not only because it’s FSU, but because what a win would mean to their season goals.

"It's big, but it's not any bigger than the rest of them,” he said. “They're all big. It's the next game. We have goals. I know I've said that every week because it's true. It's that game, it's the next game. That's just how we go about our business. We've got a month left, so every day is critical, every practice, every meeting, and every play. That's just really what we concentrate on. We don't get caught up in all that other stuff."

Ponder suffered bruised ribs in FSU’s 45-42 win over the Wolfpack on Saturday, and Swinney was asked if he was aware of Ponder’s condition.

“We'll prepare for all their guys to be ready to go,” Swinney said. “All that stuff, you kind of watch as you go through the week. I expect everybody for them to be ready to go this week."

Swinney ended the teleconference by talking about the continued progression of quarterback Kyle Parker.

“He has done a lot of good things throughout the season,” he said. “He just happens to play the toughest position on the field. He has handled it very well. I think he has matured tremendously throughout the year. Over the last few weeks, he has taken much more ownership and accountability.

“His attention to detail, his sense of urgency on a daily basis, I think he has just grown as a leader with our guys and is more assertive and a more disciplined guy. He's still got a lot of things we are coaching him on, but he's going to be a good player."


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