MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04: Tajh Boyd #10 (R) of the Clemson Tigers and the Clemson offense looks on in beteen plays against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Today is a very popular day around the Southeast. Many schools opted to hold their annual Spring Games this afternoon and, to everyone's good fortune, most of these contests will be covered either through an internet stream or on one of the ESPN channels. Use this thread to sound off on Clemson and/or other schools hosting their annual practice game. Clemson tees it up at 4 PM EDT on ESPN3. If you are in Tigertown today, baseball game is at noon. Here is a link to activities at CU this weekend.
Clemson will be without a couple players today, most notably Andre Ellington and Stephone Anthony. Both of these guys should be at 100% for Fall Football. I have a couple areas of interest in this football game. We've been harping on depth and experience up front for quite some time now and nothing has changed. Clemson is relatively inexperienced on both the offensive and defensive line. In addition, you have guys like Dalton Freeman complaining that the Clemson defensive front confused them in practice. Hopefully this group won't look quite as confused today.
I will be particularly interested in the play of Travis Blanks. We told you here last summer that Blanks would likely be the best recruit of the '12 class and would impact immediately. Again, STS looks to be on target there. Blanks will play predominantly at the Nickel and, with Clemson's offense showing spread looks for the most part, Blanks will get his fair share of playing time today in a 4-2-5 look.
I have few questions about the receivers. We've all heard that they got better over the past three months, making them very, very, very dangerous for opponents. Tajh had some mechanical issues I hope were corrected and Mike Bellamy has impressed the staff since being reinstated following the Bowl. He is an athlete who could really be special if he can get it all together off the field, gain some quality muscle pounds, and better secure the football.
Linebacker improvement is something we expect. We've know that Steele's defense was more complicated for the backers. Venables' strategy is not as complicated but he has admitted to installing it here at a patient pace. What I take from that is that we should be watching fundamentals and instinct for now and be a little more forgiving of schematic errors because (A) some things have not been installed and (B) the defense was stripped to its core and the new defensive coordinator is keen on building it slowly around fundamentals.
The ACC Spring games fall out as shown below. All of these games sans Wake will be shown on ESPN3. Florida State will additionally be shown on ESPNU.
1 p.m. ET--Wake
2 p.m. ET--Miami
2:15 p.m. ET--Virginia
3 p.m. ET--UNC
4 p.m. ET-Clemson, FSU
Here is the SEC schedule for today (all of these will be shown on ESPN3)
1 p.m. ET--South Carolina
3 p.m. ET--Alabama, Auburn, Georgia
7 p.m. ET--Vanderbilt