Saturday scrimmage notebook

CLEMSON – CUTigers provides an extensive notebook after Saturday's stadium scrimmage.

WIDE RECEIVER LOGJAM: Continuing the theme discussed after last Saturday's scrimmage, wide receivers coach Jeff Scott has yet to see any separation between wide receivers.

"We had a multitude of guys making plays," he said. "The big thing we talked about going into the scrimmage is making sure we do the things that we can control. That's catching the football, no turnovers, no stupid penalties. I think we accomplished that today."

He doesn't think that it's a bad thing that there are so many receivers competing for playing time this fall.

Wide receivers coach Jeff Scott has plenty of options to choose from before the season opener against North Texas.
"It's really even. I know everybody doesn't like to hear that, but I think it's a good thing," Scott said. "You look at the guys that had a good day. Marquan Jones stood up today and had a really good day. Then, Bryce McNeal came in and had a nice 12-yard run in goal line. Terrance Ashe is a guy that's been kind of getting back to it."

Those three figure into the mix along with Xavier Dye, Brandon Clear and DeAndre Hopkins.

Hopkins, along with fellow freshman Joe Craig, made a couple of big plays during Saturday's scrimmage. Each scored a touchdown. Hopkins scored on a go-route from Michael Wade. Craig's catch was made in coverage after wrestling the ball away from the defensive back. It was a 50-yard post route. A few plays later, Craig ran a reverse for touchdown.

"It's great for the moral of our group. It's progress. We're still not where we want to be, but it's progress towards where we need to be," Scott said.

TACKLING, OR LACK THEREOF: Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said the tackling wasn't very good Saturday. Two weeks into camp and a day after a long bus ride to Bamberg, Steele said the tackling looked "dead legged."

Sounds like a couple understandable variables, but not for Steele, who said, "Don't get me wrong. I'm not making any excuses.

Even though he wasn't pleased with tackling, he said the numbers might shed a different light on the overall performance by the first group.

"There were two [missed assignments] that created big plays. One in a zone coverage and one on an over route. Besides that, they were 2.3 yards per rush against the attack and 3.3 is the goal. They were effective against that and third down."

"The guy right now that gives us the best opportunity when we're throwing the ball is Jamie Harper," Swinney said.
Goal line wasn't so great.

"We need more work at that. Coming into the scrimmage, we only had four plays of work on the goal line," Steele said. "Effective on third down. Again, if you look at the numbers, for the attack, the run, third down, win two-minute. Then you say, we didn't tackle well. They were effective numbers."

SPILLER'S GONE, BUT THE WHEEL ROUTE ISN'T: Andre Ellington is one of three running backs that's been charged with the task of filling the shoes of former Tiger and current Buffalo Bill C.J. Spiller.

The fan favorite route is back, even though Spiller isn't. Ellington was the recipient of a Kyle Parker touchdown pass. The route: wheel.

But that's not the back with the best hands. According to head coach Dabo Swinney, that's Jamie Harper.

"[Ellington] has got to be more consistent. The guy right now that gives us the best opportunity when we're throwing the ball is Jamie Harper," Swinney said. "He's in the top three for best hands on the team. It's phenomenal the catches he's made in camp. Andre can physically do it…he's got to be the consistent finisher catching the ball."

KICKING GAME: Saturday's kicking performance was subpar, to say the least. All three kickers combined to make one of six attempts in the 35-45 yard range.

Swinney said the race between Richard Jackson, Spencer Benton and Chandler Catanzaro is still wide-open. Top Stories