Scrimmage Insider: Offensive line wins the day, Dabo Swinney updates injuries
|Saturday, August 13, 2022, 2:38 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Clemson held its first scrimmage of August camp Saturday inside Death Valley, and head coach Dabo Swinney was pleased that the offense, and especially the offensive line, won the day.
The Tigers scrimmaged for two-plus hours under sunny skies inside the stadium, and we have several notes to pass along right now, with a more in-depth look later.
I will start with the injury news – wide receiver Troy Stellato is out with a torn ACL and will miss this season. Offensive lineman John Williams is dealing with a cyst but should be ok. Swinney said he hopes wide receiver EJ Williams (hematoma, lower back) will be back next week, while wide receiver Beaux Collins (shoulder) will likely be held out next week and return the following Monday.
Defensive end Xavier Thomas left with what looked like a lower right leg or foot injury and later tweeted out something rather ominous sounding (he added a follow up message later), but Swinney didn’t know the extent of the injury and bragged on the leadership Thomas has shown in camp. He also mentioned Thomas has been faster than ever.
*Running back Will Shipley turned a 4th-and-1 into a 40-yard touchdown run.
*Quarterback Cade Klubnik had two touchdown runs, including a 12-yarder. He also threw an interception.
*Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had another good day.
“Really pleased with DJ. He had one mistake,” Swinney said. “Cade (Klubnik) had one critical mistake. We had some guys make plays, really, I think we had one drop the whole day with each group, but just you wish you were playing somebody else because it's a double edged sword. You're happy, but then you're mad.”
He said Uiagalelei made several nice plays with his legs. Klubnik is fast and ran away from guys in high school but is learning Clemson’s defense has some fast guys as well.
*It was “good on good” for most of the day with ACC officials and headsets for the coaches. Swinney wanted to make it as much like a real game as he could.
“You get two live scrimmages in preseason. So, I really tried to treat it like a preseason game,” Swinney said. “It's just kind of trying to create mentality-wise with headsets and then ACC officials, everything and just really try to call it as strict as we could call it. Today was a fun day as far as being able to go play.”
*The offense played well.
“Usually this scrimmage is usually a day that the defense owns,” Swinney said. “The offense won the day and honestly, I kind of saw that coming. I told the defense it was very competitive. The defense did a lot of good things, a couple of nice turnovers. (Andrew) Mukuba had a pick, RJ (Mickens) had a pick. We did all three groups, we had a few sacks.
“Our guys up front on the offensive line, I think all they hear and read is how bad they are and it's just the opposite on the other side. All they hear and read is how great they are and you saw the results of that today. I definitely think the offensive line won the day in the trenches today, which is good to see, good for both sides, very competitive. I love how our backs ran the ball. All the backs had the big plays, made some big plays in the passing game.”
*He was pleased with kicker BT Potter and punter Aidan Swanson. He said that freshman Robert Gunn is coming along and can boom kicks through the back of the endzone. Punter Jack Smith is also starting to show progress.
*He reiterated that freshman Blake Miller is pushing to start at right tackle. Mentioned that center Will Putnam has been good in camp, and that Marcus Tate is “night and day” ahead of where he was a year ago. The coaches are actually repping left tackle Jordan McFadden some at left guard and Tate at left tackle as insurance in case McFadden goes down. But he said they will get the best five on the field.
Mitchell Mayes has been out the last week but should be back soon.
*He continues to brag on freshmen wide receivers Cole Turner and Antonio Williams. He isn’t ready to trust either one in the punt return game – that belongs to Will Taylor – but both are showing promise.
*Tight end Jake Briningstool had a big day.
*Defensive tackle DeMonte Capehart had two sacks.