The Clemson football team held its third and final stadium scrimmage of the August practice season on Thursday afternoon. The Tigers are preparing for the season opener at Auburn on September 3.
Swinney’s team ran 77 plays from scrimmage, numerous special teams plays and some simulated end of game plays. “It was a good scrimmage,” said Swinney. “We accomplished what we needed to do and I don’t believe anyone got hurt.
“We worked on the return game offensively and defensively. Once again it was a good scrimmage day for Greg Huegel, who repeatedly hit his kickoffs into the endzone and for the second straight stadium scrimmage he did not miss a kick.
“We worked a lot on special end of game situations. It is important to understand the game situation on offense ad defense. There was a lot of teaching in the last 30 minutes.”
The Tigers also worked two-minute drills and a simulated overtime complete with coin toss. Clemson will hold practices on Friday and Saturday that will be season prep practices in general, and then start full time on Auburn on Monday.
While Swinney held some of his starters, or played others sparingly, there were some standout performances. Offensively tight end Milan Richard had four catches for 48 yards and had another 30-yard reception wiped out by a penalty. Ray Ray McCloud had four catches for 34 yards and a touchdown. Running back C.J. Fuller had 6-31 rushing. Adam Choice scored the only other touchdown on an 11-yard run.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson played just a couple of possessions, but completed 5-7 passes for 77 yards. Nic Schuessler completed 12 of 22 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown to lead the quarterbacks.
Deon Cain was the top receiver in terms of yardage with two catches for 62 yards, including a 39-yarder from Watson. Mike Williams was held out of the scrimmage and Wayne Gallman had just one carry. Clemson coaches know what those players can do.
Defensively, Christian Wilkins had three tackles for loss and two passes broken up, as he played both defensive end and defensive tackle. Ben Boulware had five tackles, including a caused fumble, and Denzel Johnson had an interception in the two-minute drill. Clelin Ferrell and Chris Register had two sacks apiece. Both are getting increased playing time with the foot injury to Austin Bryant.
Swinney said after practice that freshman defensive end Xavier Kelly was involved in a traffic accident on Wednesday. He suffered some minor injuries and missed the scrimmage, but is expected to return to practice next week. D.J. Greenlee missed the scrimmage with a concussion. Cornerback Marcus Edmond is out with a hamstring, but is expected to return next week. Carlos Watkins was held out of the scrimmage with a wrist injury.
Notes: The Tigers will hold Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday…former Clemson All-American Donnell Woolford joined the roster of former Tigers who are student assistant coaches on Dabo Swinney’s staff.. ..he has returned to Clemson to finish his degree requirements….Woolford, Bill Spiers, Keith Jennings and Terry Allen are all former Tigers under Danny Ford who are back at Clemson to earn their degrees.
Brent Venables Part II
Ray Ray McCloud