Clemson had their 3rd scrimmage in 8 days and again the running backs piled up significant yardage against the 2nd and 3rd team defenses. Jamie Harper had a big day, the first significant mention in my memory of him this fall, with 141 yards on 9 carries. Andre Ellington and Daniel Barnes both had pretty good/decent numbers as well. Hot Rod got his clock cleaned by Quandon Christian and has a bad concussion, so he will be held out at least a couple weeks if not more. Shouldn't be a big cause for worry to anyone unless either Harper or Ellington get hurt in the first two games.
The rest from the AD:
The scrimmage completed the fall camp portion of the preseason schedule. Classes start Wednesday at Clemson and the team will have the day off from football activities. Practice will resume Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The team will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Day at Clemson Memorial Stadium on Sunday at 3:00 PM.
Harper had a run of 59 yards early in the scrimmage and another of 50 yards for a touchdown late in the session on his way to his 141-yard rushing day. He also had two receptions for 31 yards, one of which went for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Andre Ellington also had a strong day with 13 carries for 57 yards, while Daniel Barnes, a walk-on who was just put on scholarship this week, had 10-39 rushing.
Tajh Boyd quarterbacked the first team offense and Mike Wade quarterbacked the second team. Starter Kyle Parker had the day off as he attended to duties related to his signing of a professional baseball contract with the Colorado Rockies late Monday night. Parker, who was taken in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft, will be back at practice on Thursday and will play the 2010 season for the Tigers football team. He is then expected to join the Rockies organization sometime in 2011.
Boyd completed 9-20 passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns. He threw a two-yard scoring pass to tight end Dwayne Allen and a 25-yarder to Harper. Wade was 2-10 for 16 yards but had to go against Clemson's number-one defense for most of the scrimmage. Allen was the top receiver with 3-15 and the score. Barnes added two catches for 21 yards.
Defensively, Tyler Shatley was the top tackler with five, while Marcus Gilchrist had four stops, including a caused fumble. DeAndre McDaniel and Tig Willard both had fumble recoveries. Jarvis Jenkins had three tackles, a sack and a caused fumble.
The first team defense did not give up a score.
"It was a good practice, a good ending to camp," said Swinney. "It was a scrimmage in which we worked on a lot of situations. We worked on short yardage, two-minute drills, offensively and defensively, and running out the clock.
"I was pleased with the running backs, Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington. We could have games this year when they both rush for 100 yards. They continue to run well and catch the ball out of the backfield."
Swinney began the day by taking the entire team across the street from Howard's Rock to the Scroll of Honor, the new memorial that honors Clemson alumni who have lost their lives serving the United States military.
There were two injuries reported in the scrimmage. Red-shirt freshman running back Roderick McDowell suffered a concussion, while junior tight end Drew Traylor suffered a sprained ankle.
In addition to Kyle Parker, freshman Justin Parker missed the scrimmage as he was home with his ailing mother.
Da'Quan Bowers had not returned to the team after enduring the sudden death of his father a week ago Sunday. He was expected to return to school on Tuesday
"We know who we are from an identity standpoint now, and the repetitions they're able to get at this point in camp are completely different from where we were at. I like their identity. I like who they want to be. I like what they're about. I'd go to war with them every day of the week."
He praised the OL and said that K. Davis has done well aside from being gassed out at the end of practice. He doesnt expect any of the newcomers to be ready to play physically this fall. Napier was pretty down on the line last fall camp, saying repeatedly that he only had 6 he could win with, so it appears they really are getting better up front for a change. RB depth may be a problem if McDowell is out longer, and he said Demont Buice is not ready to be a college RB and Howard has been injured.
Again Steele produced great numbers on YPC of 1.6 with (presumably) the 1st team defense handling that. If that is the case then its quite clear the 2nd team and 3rd teams are getting whipped up front. We do play the 2nd team guys on defense quite a bit, and if Goodman/Rennie Moore/Chavis/Brown are getting beaten this badly, I'm pretty discouraged about their performance this camp.
Still, folks shouldn't go crazy thinking the defense is going to suck because of this yardage given up. Its still just a scrimmage. They ran out many backups with the 1's, so you don't know who was out there at any given time when they got pounded up front the worst. Xavier Brewer was out with a hammy, Parker was gone to be with his mother, Bowers is gone too and Scotty Cooper is battling some neck problem.
Powell said that Gilchrist, Ellington, Adams (fastest guy on the team), and Harper are all working on kick returns. My best bet is Gilchrist for now. No word on how the damn kickers did today.