Due to the combination of the academic schedule and the extra week of preparation before the September 5 opener, the Tiger football team’s preseason preparation coincides with a two-week period of time where there is no school.
That means it is all football all the time for the Tigers. “I don’t know what day
it is and I don’t think our players do either,” said Swinney after Friday’s
practice, the fourth day of preseason work. The Tigers will work a fifth
consecutive day on Saturday, the first day of full pads, before taking Sunday off.
“We have their attention all day every day from August 4 until the start of school
on August 19 and I have been very pleased with their focus. We are in a good spot
right now. The players have bought into the work and they have responded so far.
It has been four tough days of practice, but they have responded.”
Swinney has been pleased with what he has seen from his freshmen. “We have 40
freshmen on this team including the red-shirt freshmen and I have been impressed.
They are more talented as a group than the 42 freshmen we had on the 2011 team.
Now this group has a long way to go to match what those 2011 freshmen did, because
they went on to become the winningest class in Clemson history. But it is a
Friday’s two and a half hour practice featured a lot of competition between the
first team offense and the first team defense. “We went 60 minutes of good on good
and you don’t see that much this early. But, we believe in the concept that ‘iron
“I have loved the tempo and the energy the first four days. There has been some
The team had a few periods of 11-on-11 work and the defense had the upper hand at
the beginning. In fact, in the first 20 plays the defense held the offense to
just 20 yards and allowed just three completions in 15 passes.
But the offense had the upper hand when the work went to the red-zone. Deshaun
Watson completed a 20-yard scoring pass to Mike Williams. Nick Schuessler
completed a 17 yard scoring pass to Germone Hopper and Kelly Bryant threw a 17 yard
scoring pass to Deon Cain.
The defense did have a strong day overall. Ryan Carter had a pair of interceptions
to pace that unit during various drills.
The practice ended with another placekicking competition. Alex Spence, who is
running number-one at the position through four practices, made field goals of 38
and 43 yards. Walk-on Greg Huegel was also perfect from those distances.
Starting center Ryan Norton missed the practice as he recovers from a concussion.
Zak Brooks was out with a bruised heel. Linebacker Kendall Joseph missed his
second straight day with an AC joint sprain. Quarterback Tucker Israel was out
with a broken foot.
Tigers complete fourth practice
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