Tate May Not Play Saturday

CLEMSON - Clemson defensive tackle Trey Tate has a groin injury that could force him out of action for Saturday's game against Maryland.

TATE INJURED: Starting defensive tackle Trey Tate suffered a groin injury Tuesday and may not make the trip to Maryland this weekend, said Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden Wednesday.

"He practiced in a yellow jersey today," he said. "He can't hardly run. I'm not even sure he would make the trip (to Maryland).

However, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning was a little more optimistic. "Trey got hurt in a pass rush. Hopefully he's going to be alright," Koenning said.

In addition, after last weekend's performance against Texas A&M, Koenning said this week has been a physical one for his defense.

"We've had two, physical-type, spring practices. We are not going to allow them to have bad fundamentals. We've got a long ways to go defensively," he said.

If Tate is unable to play Saturday, Donnell Clark, who is close to full strength after suffering an ankle injury more than a week ago, would take his place in the starting line-up.

Cory Groover would then start at nose guard, with Rashaad Jackson backing him up. Jacquez McKissic and Dorrell Scott would be next in line for playing time this weekend, completing a five-man rotation in the interior of the defensive line.

MORE MAN COVERAGE: Bowden said that Maryland played "a lot of man-free" coverage against Navy last Saturday.

But don't read too much into it.

"Last year they played a lot of man (before playing Clemson) and then played us a lot of zone," he said.

"I'm anxious to see what they'll do (Saturday)."

QUICK HITS: Koenning said of freshman defensive end Phillip Merling, "Merling is tough now, he's going to be a fine player." ... Bowden said there are no more position changes to report, but there may be based on film of today's practice. ... Bowden said the mental approach this week is the exact opposite of last week because Clemson is ranked and Maryland is not. "It's completely different," Bowden said.

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