ATLANTA -- Clemson linebacker Cortney Vincent didn't start the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Monday night after his arrest on drunken driving chrages three weeks ago.
He was in on the second series, though.
Vincent had started all 12 games for 15th-ranked Clemson. However, his status came in doubt following his Dec. 9 arrest.
Coach Tommy Bowden was asked continually since then if he would suspend Vincent the way he had cornerback Duane Coleman, who missed last year's Music City Bowl because of a drug arrest.
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Bowden had kept his decision on Vincent to himself until game time when athletic spokesman Tim Bourret said the linebacker would play but not start.
The coach has said earlier he would "determine any appropriate disciplinary action after the legal process runs its course."
Vincent is expected to have court hearing in January.
Antonio Clay started at Vincent's middle linebacker slot. That meant Clemson opened up minus their three starting linebackers this season.
Nick Watkins and Tramaine Billie, two of the team's three leading tacklers this year, were suspended from the game because of academics.
Sophomore Kavell Conner started for Watkins. Freshman Scotty Cooper played for Billie.
• MAKING THE CALL: Along with a new offensive coordinator, Auburn and coach Tommy Tuberville had a new play-calling flow to deal with at the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Tuberville says he met with his staff met to discuss who'll give input on the offensive plays. Tony Franklin was hired in December, replacing Al Borges. Auburn hasn't had time to implement Franklin's system, or get familiar with his offensive terminology.
Still, Tuberville says Franklin's in charge of the offense and will call some plays.
Franklin likes to talk to the offensive line coach, Auburn's Hugh Nall, about the running attack during games, Tuberville said.
"It'll be a group deal," Tuberville says. "But it's hard to do that."
• GOOD ATTITUDE: Clemson star James Davis wants the ball -- a lot. His coach wouldn't have it any other way.
Davis has said this week that how he's used at the Chick-fil-A Bowl would figure into his decision whether to stay for his senior season or jump to the NFL.
Coach Tommy Bowden didn't see that as a threat, only a sign of a fierce competitor who wants to win.
"You want your skill people to want the ball," Bowden said. "I think I know what James means when he says that."
"We'll give him a few carries," Bowden's bowl opponent, Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville, quipped.
Davis got eight carries in the game's first half, as many as he had the entire Music City Bowl a year ago when the Clemson lost to Kentucky.
Davis is among several juniors facing decisions about remaining at Clemson or jumping to the pros.
• CHICK-FIL-A NUGGETS: Former Clemson football signee, and current Atlanta Braves star outfielder, Jeff Francoeur gave the opening invocation for the bowl game. ...
Auburn entered the Chick-fil-A Bowl with a 12-game win streak over Clemson. That included a 21-17 victory here at the 1997 Peach Bowl, the last time these school's faced each other. ... While Auburn's band played its version of "Tiger Rag," Clemson fans filled in their school's verse with its signature end of spelling out their university's name.