This Saturday, Clemson training camp rolled on, as the Tigers held their first scrimmage. As is often the case with these early scrimmages, the defense looked to be a little bit ahead of the offense. That’s pretty normal for this point in training camp, so no reason to panic about the state of the offense just yet.
So who impressed? Let’s start with the offense.
The good news is that Dabo Swinney seemed to be pleased with the performance of his quarterbacks, particularly Cole Stoudt.
“Cole Stoudt was outstanding today. He was awesome in his reads. He has had a very good week of practice. So has Deshaun Watson. He had a very good day also.”
Stoudt and Watson each threw two touchdown passes.
Swinney seemed less blown away by the performance of the running backs. Nobody has emerged as a front-runner, so the battle for carries rages on.
The running backs did a good job. Right now it is too tough to say who will get the most carries. We will have a lot of players involved. C.J. Davidson did a good job today, and so did Zac Brooks. D.J. Howard had one of his best practices as well. If we had to play today, we would probably be ‘running back by committee.’
Swinney also singled out TE Jordan Leggett, who caught a touchdown pass during the scrimmage. Jay Jay McCullough added to the solid day by the Clemson tight ends with three receptions, as well.
On defense, the front-seven was predictably impressive. Grady Jarrett and Scott Pagano were both regular visitors to the backfield, and Pagano led the way with three tackles for a loss. Jarrett finished with two sacks. And although the offense got off to a fast start, it sounds like the defense did win out in the end.
“I liked the tempo that was set by the offense at the outset. The first-team offense went right down the field (against the first-team defense) and scored a touchdown on the first drive. Then the defense came back strong and at the end of practice won the short-yardage situations we scripted. The defense dominated the goal-line situations. We will have another situational scrimmage Wednesday and we will see how the offense comes back.”
Clemson training camp will continue today, with two practices. The Tigers had Sunday off.
Here are a couple of coaches and players talking about the scrimmage. Video courtesy of ClemsonTigers.com.
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