Saturday Scrimmage Report

The Clemson Tigers took the field in Memorial Stadium this afternoon for the first scrimmage in preparation for the 2004 season. CUTigers.com has the latest, live from Clemson University.

Offense Struggles
The Tigers struggled offensively today as Charlie Whitehurst completed just 9-of-20 passes for 104 yards and a touchdown. "I didn't think anyone of our quarterbacks were sharpe today," said head coach Tommy Bowden.

"The way this thing, the defense kind of got in there and dominated," said Bowden after the scrimmage. "Offensively we were just kind of wondering around looking at each other waiting for somebody to say something."

DE Charles Bennett continued his recent trend of strong play, recording 2 sacks, 4 tackles for loss, and 8 tackles.

"I'm just glad we came out and played well today," said Bennett. "I feel pretty comfortable out there but there is always work that needs to be done. I'm just giving it all I got."

The defense recorded 18 tackles for loss on the day. Bennett led the way and LB LeRoy Hill, a Butkus Award candidate, had two tackles for loss in his limited action and he also caused and recovered a fumble.

David Dunham, Lionel Richardson and Gaines Adams all had two tackles for loss apiece. Adams and Anthony Waters also had five tackles to lead the balanced performance by the defense. Watkins, the red-shirt freshman from New Orleans, had the only interception.

Kickers Step Up
Jad Dean made 3-of-3 field goals this afternoon while Stephen Furr made 2-of-3.

"In the spring I kind of struggled in the scrimmages, but today I was 3-for-3 so it was a big day for me," said Dean. "It feels good, especially against a live rush, it's like a game situation."

The two kickers each attempted field goals from 35, 33, and 48 yards.

"Furr kicked a 48-yarder into the wind against a live rush and then Dean kicked a 48-yarder too," said Bowden.

Bowden also added that Cole Chason and Chris Wicksell looked better.

Yu-u-u-sef!!!
Running back Yusef Kelly had one of the biggest plays of the scrimmage today, reeling off a 50-yard touchdown run.

"It was okay by my standards," said Kelly. "I'm striving to make myself better but I'm striving to make the team better before that."

When asked if he felt vindicated for posting the longest run of the afternoon, Kelly responded, "I guess so. Two springs ago I had a 65-yard run but I've only had two long runs since high school, I almost forgot how it felt."

Bowden was pleased with Kelly's performance. "He broke a long run today and he finally got one," said Bowden. "That's kind of what we've been looking for."

Kelly led the ground gainers with 12 carries for 88 yards, including the 50-yard run late in the scrimmage when he broke three tackles and ran from one side of the field to the other. Kyle Browning had 15-68 rushing, but he lost a fumble. Reggie Merriweather added 15-38 on the ground, giving the three running backs 42 attempts for 194 yards.

Parting Shots
Reserve OL Chris Capote suffered a leg injury today and had to be carted off the field...Nick Watkins had an interception that was returned 48 yards...Justin Miller sat out the scrimmage due to an ankle injury suffered at the end of Friday's practice...the injury is minor...Starting offensive guard Chip Myrick continued to miss practice due to mononucleosis...Freshman QB Cullen Harper completed a 5-yard touchdown pass to walk on Duncan McLaurin...Bowden said that Kyle Browning looked the best overall today but he also had two fumbles...Brandon Nolen also received high praise from Bowden...LeRoy Hill played only sparingly early on. "He's been here a long time and played a lot," said Bowden. "We just want to get him to the game."

The Tigers will take tomorrow off before returning to two-a-days Monday morning around 9:15 AM.

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