Saturday Scrimmage Insider

CLEMSON - More insider news and notes from Saturday's scrimmage in Death Valley.

FORD IMPRESSIVE: It seems safe to say that freshman wide receiver Jacoby Ford will be an impact player for the Clemson football team this fall. All he did in his first scrimmage Saturday, was catch four passes for 103 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 22 yards on an end-around play.

In fact, the first time he touched the ball, he took a bubble screen and ran 53 yards for a touchdown.

"I got the ball and saw the hole and just hit it," Ford told afterwards. "It felt real good to score the first time I got the ball. I had great blocking and it was a great call.

"I could have had a couple more touchdowns, I just had a couple of missed assignments. ... I got a little nervous out there so hopefully I can go out and do better next time."

Head coach Tommy Bowden said afterwards, "When he gets to the second level, there's nobody catching him from behind. At least on this team."

TIGERS IMPROVING OFFENSIVELY: Several players said Saturday that the offense is making strides compared to last season, including starting quarterback Will Proctor.

"I thought we did good today and we got a lot of things done. We've been slowly installing the offense and just kind of trying to find things out with the first team," Proctor said. "Our running game was good for the most part but we were just trying things. We weren't scheming against the defense."

Not surprisingly, the fifth year quarterback was impressed with Ford.

"He's really fast, for sure," Proctor said. "He's definitely going to be a weapon for us. Cullen threw that one."

Bowden was pleased with his offense overall, however, he said his red zone offense continues to be a work in progress. "We had too many mistakes in the red zone by the offense," he said. "Kind of going back to last year as we had a couple of guys have penalties down there that prevented points and touchdowns. And that's been an emphasis going into the spring."

LINE OF SCRIMMAGE BATTLE: One of the intriguing story lines emerging this spring is the Tigers' young, but talented, defensive front facing off against a more experienced offensive line.

Despite Jacoby Ford's impressive performance Saturday, it appears the first team defense held its own against the first team offense.

"That's kind of been hyped up," said left guard Roman Fry of the competition at the line of scrimmage. "The younger guys (on defense) are battling hard. We take accept that as a challenge. It's good for both sides to have that kind of rivalry going on."

When asked specifically who won the battle on Saturday, Fry responded, "Man you have to go with the veterans ... are you kidding me? I think the O-line might have taken it today but we'll see how it goes the rest of spring."

Bowden added, "The young defensive guys did a pretty good job not giving up big plays," he said. "Our defense did pretty good."

QUICK HITS: Several players commented that James Davis has picked up right where he left off at the end of last season ... Davis has added 10 pounds this off-season and is playing around 208 pounds. ... Tommy Bowden said afterwards that Cole Chason has shown improvement through the last two practices, including Saturday's scrimmage. "We covered two (punts) live because I wanted to see Jacoby and Ray Ray return punts, but Cole did a good job punting that they didn't really have the chance," he said. ... Bowden also said he was pleased with the fact his team has remained healthy through the first week of practice. ... Bowden singled out the play of Demerick Chancellor and he also said that Chancellor is locked in at the running back position right now. Top Stories