Unexpected stars in scrimmage

CLEMSON — Dabo Swinney has been hoping to see if anyone at quarterback or wide receiver could step up and stand out during one of the team's major scrimmages this spring.

Saturday he got his wish, however, it wasn't the players he was expecting it to be.

Third string quarterback Michael Wade completed 9-of-12 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns, while third string wideout Brandon Ford had three catches for 97 yards, including a touchdown catch of 60 yards in the regular scrimmage and then another score from Willy Korn in goal line situations.

"Brandon Ford is a guy that is still learning what to do and learning to play fast, but what he is proving is that when he gets an opportunity to get around the ball, he will catch it," Swinney said.

Ford, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound redshirt freshman, showed off those hands with a diving 13-yard catch following his touchdown and then moments later he went up high to snare a Wade pass out of the air for a 24-yard gain.

"I just try to make plays when I get the chance and show the coaches what I can do," Ford said. "I just try to go out there and do what I have to do and try to make plays all day."

Ford's 24-yard reception setup Jaron Brown's 26-yard touchdown pass from Wade moments later.

"Don't count Michael Wade out," Swinney said. "He is one of the more competitive kids that we have. He just battles and makes plays with his feet when he scrambles around. He really made some nice throws today."

Though Wade had the better today statistically, Korn and Kyle Parker also had their moments. Korn completed 8-of-16 passes for 96 yards, while Parker was 7-of-14 for 87 yard, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Terrence Ashe in the right corner of the end zone.

Parker made perhaps the best play of the scrimmage when he avoided pressure from Da'Quan Bowers on a fourth-down play in a two-minute drill situation by stepping up and then to his right before firing a pass 23 yards back across the field to Xavier Dye.

"I kind of knew he was going to come back to me," Dye said. "He has a strong arm and he likes to show it off and I don't care as long as he throws it. He made a great play and I went up and made a great play on the ball too.

"He has a strong arm."

Dye says its plays like that which tell him never to give up on a play, especially when Parker is in there.

"Matt Ryan made that same type of play to beat us that year," Dye said. "You have to stay active. It was a scramble drill so I was about to start running towards him and then he turned back so I stopped and he found me out of the corner of his eye, which was a good thing."

Dye finished the day with two catches for 40 yards, while Brown had 3 catches for 68 yards and Ashe had two of 20. Marquan Jones also had a 17-yard reception.

Overall, it was day Swinney had been waiting to see from his quarterbacks and wide receivers, especially considering the nice weather conditions inside Death Valley.

"The wideouts, I thought they were outstanding today. I thought his was the best day we have had throwing and catching," he said. "This was the kind of day that I have been looking for."

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