CLEMSON - Clemson's five running backs averaged 5.4 yards per rush to highlight the offense and Nick Watkins had five tackles and two pass deflections to highlight the defense in Clemson's third and final stadium scrimmage on Tuesday morning.
The Tigers worked for a little over two hours in Death Valley.
"We wanted to work on the running game, especially with the first team," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden after the scrimmage that concluded the preseason portion of its schedule.
The Tigers open against Florida State on September 3. The Tigers will have Wednesday off, the first day of classes at Clemson, then go back to the practice fields Thursday for specific game planning for the Seminoles.
"I was not pleased with the running game, especially in short yardage on Saturday. But I saw improvement today. There was some good running North and South. You can't out-run Florida State running East and West. The backs averaged over five yards a rush. I thought the offensive line played better. There were some penalties, but overall they played well."
Willy Korn had another good scrimmage at quarterback completing 9-16 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown pass was a 56-yarder to wide receiver LaDonte Harris, who continues to have a good preseason. Harris had two catches for 67 yards on the day. In addition to his touchdown pass to Harris, Korn threw a scoring pass to Sadat Chambers during a goal line drill.
First-team quarterback Cullen Harper was 4-12 for 41 yards, all against the number-one defense. The offense scored two touchdowns and a field goal when he was on the field. Tribble Reese, the third-team quarterback, was 3-5 for 25 yards, but had touchdown runs of 70 and two yards. He was the leading rusher in the scrimmage with three rushes for 83 yards. None of the three quarterbacks threw an interception. Among the running backs, James Davis had 7-30, C.J. Spiller had 3-21, Sadat Chambers had 8-42, Ronald Watson Jr. had 6-45 and Paul Macko had 4-13. Chambers, Macko and Spiller all had touchdown runs. The five running backs had 28 rushes for 151 yards between them.
In addition to Harris, Xavier Dye had three receptions for 29 yards, all from Korn, his former high school teammate at Byrnes High near Spartanburg. Tight end Durell Barry had three catches for 24 yards.
Watkins had five tackles from his first-team linebacker position and also had a pair of pass deflections. He had an interception in last week's scrimmage. Chris Russell and Coty Sensabaugh were the leading tacklers with six apiece. Converted quarterback and now safety Mike Wade had five tackles in the secondary. Jamie Cumbie, Michael Hamlin, Cortney Vincent, Jeremy Campbell and Antwon Murchison all recorded quarterback sacks.
The kicking game also looked good on Tuesday. Mark Buchholz made a 56-yard field goal prior to the scrimmage against a live rush, then made a 47-yard field goal in the scrimmage. At the conclusion of the scrimmage Bowden called the entire team out to the field and had them surround Buchholz as he attempted a 47-yard field goal. With the entire team yelling at him from just a few yards out, he split the uprights.
Punter Jimmy Maners had a 64-yard punt coming off the one-yard line.
"We had some good performances in the kicking game today," said Bowden. "I wanted to simulate as much pressure as possible for Buchholz and he made that kick. I was also impressed with Maners punt off the goal line. That is what you want in that situation. Our kickoff return coverage was good also."Miami
After 18 straight days of preseason practices, the Miami Hurricanes will finally get a break on Wednesday for the first day of classes. Read on to see what Randy Shannon is saying after the first two-and-a-half weeks of camp.
The Hurricanes practiced on Tuesday afternoon for the 18th straight day and will have tomorrow off for the first day of classes for the fall semester. Head coach Randy Shannon talked about Tuesday. "Today we had slight workout," Shannon said. "We worked on some key situations as far as special teams, like punting out of the end zone, taking a safety, punt after safety and onsides kick. There are some things that you never do. We need to do those things two or three times before the first game, and the guys did an excellent job of executing. So it was good today. It was fun. It was fresh. They came out enthusiastic. We ended with the two-minute drill, so that was great."
As preseason camp comes to a close and the team begins preparing for its season opener against Marshall scheduled for next Saturday, the Canes are pretty healthy as a team.
Shannon likes where his team is physically after all those practices.
"Mentally and physically, they're fine," he said. "They came out and performed. They have a lot of enthusiasm. So, mentally, they're sharp. Physically, you are never where you want to be because injuries happen. Guys are nicked and sore, but its part of football. They understand that. We have to keep pushing on and pressing on in order to do the things we need to get done."
Improvement is one thing that had to be on the minds of every Hurricane player after last season's 7-6 record. Shannon said he saw a lot of improvement from his team over the past two and a half weeks.
"Everyone has improved," he said. "I really can't single anyone out. Camp is for everyone to improve and get better. Were we better from the first day? Yes. Are we a lot better than the first day? Yes. Are we where we want to be? No. You're never where you want to be until the end of the season. That depends on your outcome at the end of the season."Boston College
A Massachusetts State Police sergeant and two Boston College football stars were charged yesterday with assaulting a customer at a popular Boston sports bar last month after the patron balked at clearing an area for a group of BC players.
Sergeant Joseph J. Boike -- a part-owner of The Greatest Bar, where the incident allegedly occurred -- was also charged with assaulting a woman who protested his request that several customers make way for the BC football players.
In addition, criminal complaints were issued against Gosder Cherilus, a BC Co captain, and one of the team's defensive stars, DeJuan Tribble, after a hearing before Rosemary T. Carr, the first assistant clerk-magistrate in Boston Municipal Court.
The football players were each charged with one count of assault and battery and one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a shod foot) on Sean Maney, 28, a software engineer from Watertown who sustained a broken neck and other injuries.
Boike faces similar charges involving Maney, except that Boike is accused of wielding a bottle as a dangerous weapon, as well as one count of assault and battery on Christy Osborne, the girlfriend of Maney's brother, Brian.
Lawyers for Boike and the BC players said they will plead not guilty at their arraignment Oct. 1. "They were, unfortunately, in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Philip A. Tracy Jr., who represents Cherilus and Tribble. "They are innocent of any intentional assault on this man."
Boike, 52, a 25-year State Police veteran, was placed on paid administrative leave yesterday, pending the outcome of the case, according to a State Police spokesman.
By all accounts, it was Boike who asked the Maneys and their friends to vacate their seats at the bar to make room for the BC players, precipitating a confrontation that allegedly turned violent. "We will ultimately prevail in the criminal court on these charges," said Boike's lawyer, Robert L. Allen Jr.
Allen said Boike plans to seek a cross-complaint alleging that Maney assaulted Boike. No date has been set for a hearing on the matter.
A spokeswoman for the Maneys declined to comment.
A BC football spokesman said that Cherilus, 23, a 6-foot-7-inch, 319-pound former standout at Somerville High School, and Tribble, 22, a 5-foot-9, 190-pound cornerback from Cincinnati, remain in good standing on the team. Both are graduates who remain eligible to play as fifth-year seniors. They practiced with the team after testifying at the court hearing.
The BC players were celebrating Cherilus's birthday when the incident allegedly occurred July 1 on the top floor of the multilevel bar near North Station.
Boston police detective Mark Assad, who investigated the fight, told the court that Osborne, 22, of Billerica, said Boike grabbed her by the back of the neck and hair as the fracas began. Boike previously told the Globe that Osborne started the melee by kicking a chair at him.
The incident escalated after Boike and Maney squared off. According to Assad, Maney said Boike punched him and struck him with a bottle and alleged that Cherilus grabbed him in a chokehold, punched him, and kicked him. Maney also told police that Tribble punched and kicked him. Maney was transported from the bar to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, where he later underwent surgery to repair three spinal disks. Surgeons used a titanium plate and bolts to help fuse the disks. He also sustained injuries to his lower back and knee.
Cherilus and Tribble said in Globe interviews last month that they acted as peacemakers and did not harm Maney. Boike also defended the players to the Globe, as he did yesterday in court. Cherilus is a National Football League prospect whose supporters believe Maney may be laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against him. "This is really a civil case, and they are leveraging it by trying to use the criminal side," said Tracy, Cherilus's lawyer. No civil case has been filed to date. The Boston Licensing Board, has scheduled a hearing Sept. 25 on three alleged assaults on patrons by employees at The Greatest Bar, including the July 1 incident.
*Dave Peters contributed to this story