Clemson Football takes the field this Saturday for their annual Spring Game. The game will begin at 1:00 PM in Death Valley. Admission is free.
Traditionally, Clemson separates the roster into the Orange and White teams as equally as possible. This usually means the starters in each position group will break up between the two sides. For example, one of the top two cornerbacks will go to the Orange, and the other would go to the White. Same for the lines, receivers, and special teams.
Head coach Dabo Swinney announced Wednesday that the rosters for the Spring Game will be determined a little differently this year. Instead of separating the roster equally, Clemson will pair the 1st team offense with the 2nd team defense, and subsequently the 2nd team offense with the 1st team defense.
This means the Tigers’ starters on offense will be taking on the starters on defense, which will create a much different dynamic than in past seasons.
Coach Swinney says this is primarily for the benefit of presumed starting quarterback Cade Klubnik. Given the new offensive scheme being installed by new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, Swinney wanted Klubnik to have the benefit of working with the players he would be most likely to have beside him in a real game situation.
While Klubnik will have his best options with him at running back and receiver, and his best offensive line in front of him, he will also have the Tigers’ best front seven rushing him on passing downs, and their best defensive backfield covering his receivers.
Clemson Football will put its 1st team offense against the 1st team defense in this year’s Spring Game
This new philosophy won’t just impact Klubnik and the quarterbacks. One of the most watched positions on the team is the defensive line because of the new faces. While some of the top guys might have been able to rush reserve offensive linemen in past Spring Games, this year they will have to impress their coaches against the best options available on the offensive line.
Time will tell if this is a one-year experiment, or if this might yield better evaluations for the coaching staff, thus becoming the new way the Spring Game is rostered.
Nick Eason will take charge of the Orange, and CJ Spiller will lead the White. Coach Eason is encouraging Clemson Nation to break the record for Spring Game attendance, which is around 60,000 spectators.