Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has suspended four reserves for Sunday night's game against Kentucky in the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl, according to local reports. Defensive tackles Jamie Cumbie and Rennie Moore -- who were regulars on the defensive line rotation -- and third-string tight end Durrell Barry and receiver Kyle Johnson were suspended for missing their 1 a.m. curfew on Wednesday.
First, good for Swinney setting a no-tolerance example in his first full season. Second, you never know how suspensions will affect a team. Just look at Maryland last year in the Humanitarian Bowl. Ralph Friedgen suspended several players for missing curfew, including leading rusher Da'Rel Scott. Scott came back in the second half after sitting out the first and rushed for 174 yards, a Maryland bowl record, on just 14 carries and led Maryland to a 42-35 victory over Nevada.
The loss of Cumbie and Moore will hurt Clemson's depth, but the Tigers have other players who are capable of taking on more responsibility. The bigger question for the Tigers right now is focus, which Swinney insists is not an issue. It was, though, in 2006, and considering the Tigers already enter the game off of two disappointing losses, they didn't need any more distractions.