Saturday Scrimmage Recap

Five Clemson tailbacks gained 209 yards rushing, but the number-one defense yielded just one touchdown to highlight play in Clemson's scrimmage at Death Valley on Saturday morning.

The Tigers worked for three hours as they prepare for the season opener September 3 against Texas A&M.

The offense did not lose a turnover for the second straight scrimmage. Tiger quarterbacks completed 33-48 passes for 338 yards and two touchdowns. The ground game picked up 220 yards rushing altogether on 51 attempts.

"There were positives on either side of the ball," said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. "We didn't lose a turnover for the second straight scrimmage and that was a plus. We came close to a couple of turnovers on defense and we obviously need to create turnovers. We were last in the nation in turnover margin when we were 1-4 last year so that is an area we are stressing on both sides of the ball in practice.

"Defensively we have to get a better pass rush from our front four linemen. We have to improve in that area. But, the tackling was improved from what I saw last Saturday."

James Davis, who had missed the last two days of practice, returned on Saturday and had 15 rushes for 69 yards, including a 28-yard touchdown. He led the scrimmage in rushing attempts and rushing yards. "I was glad to be back. It felt great to be with the team today. I missed the last two days for personal reasons. I look forward to working hard in practice and contributing to this team."

Clemson's veteran running backs also performed well. Reggie Merriweather had 10-44 rushing and two touchdowns, while Kyle Browning added 12-34 rushing. Duane Coleman contributed four rushes for 22 yards and walk-on running back Paul Macko had 6-40 and drew praise from Coach Bowden after the scrimmage.

Charlie Whitehurst ran the first team offense against the first team defense and completed 13-23 passes for 86 yards. Will Proctor continued to be impressive, hitting 16-21 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns against the number-two defense. Red-shirt freshman Cullen Harper was 4-4 for 31 yards while running the third team.

The receiving stats were also balanced. Freshman Tyler Grisham was the top receiver in terms of receptions, while classmate Rendrick Taylor was the top receiver in terms of yardage. Grisham had five catches for 49 yards, while Taylor had 4-79, including a 52-yard touchdown catch from Proctor.

Curtis Baham had a strong scrimmage with 4-40 receiving, while La'Donte Harris added 4-39, including a 13-yard touchdown. Chansi Stuckey had 4-20 receiving and walk-on Nelson Faerber added 4-27. Aaron Kelly had 3-19 receiving, as Rob Spence's offense had 12 different receivers.

Jad Dean continued to do well, hitting 3-3 on field goals (successful attempts from 28, 29 and 30 yards). The defense was led by linebacker Tramaine Billie, who had eight tackles, including six first hits. Jamaal Fudge was also a standout with seven tackles and two passes broken up.

David Dunham added six tackles, including two for loss. Rashaad Jackson, who is challenging for playing time in the defensive line, had four tackles, including two tackles for loss. Philip Merling had four tackles, including a sack, the only sack of the scrimmage.

There were no new injuries in the scrimmage. Charles Bennett left the scrimmage halfway through due to the heat and Bobby Williamson left early with leg cramps, also the result of the heat. Christian Capote (knee) and Kelvin Grant (separated shoulder) were the only players to miss the scrimmage due to injury. Top Stories