Clemson, SC—Da’Quan Bowers and Ricky Sapp combined for five quarterback sacks to lead the defense in Clemson’s two-hour football scrimmage at Death Valley on Saturday morning. It was the second stadium scrimmage for the Tigers in the preseason.
Bowers and Sapp, who both made the academic honor roll for the second semester, are both products of Bamberg, SC and Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. Malliciah Goodman, a freshman , also had a pair of sacks in the scrimmage that was played with no tackling the quarterback, so it was much easier to record sacks.
Brandon Maye led the defense in tackles with seven, while Marcus Gilchrist had two tackles for loss and a 60 yard fumble return.
The offense spent a lot of time working on the running game. The quarterbacks had balanced, similar statistics. Willy Korn completed five of 11 passes for 56, while Kyle Parker was five of 10 passing for 39 yards. Mike Wade was three-for-three for 20 yards and freshman Taj Boyd was four of five for 66 yards. There were no interceptions and no touchdown passes.
The receivers were led by red-shirt freshman Brandon Ford, who caught three passes for 56 yards. Freshman Bryce McNeal had three catches for 20 yards. Graduate tight end Durrell Barry had a fine catch over the middle from Parker for 24 yards.
Rendrick Taylor was the top rusher with eight carries for 33 yards and a touchdown. Jamie Harper had eight carries for 29 yards in the scrimmage and scored three times in the goal line drill at the end of the scrimmage. C.J. Spiller played sparingly as Swinney gave younger running backs more reps. Freshman Roderick McDowell had four rushes for 15 yards and a touchdown from five yards out.
Richard Jackson and Spencer Benton both booted placekicks on the day. Jackson was 4 of 5 on attempts including kicks before the scrimmage and during the scrimmage. Spencer Benton was three of five. Punter Dawson Zimmerman also had a good day with a 45-yard average.
Swinney said he continues to evaluate the quarterback position and did not make an announcement on his starter after practice. “The quarterbacks continue to do well and work hard,” said Swinney. “But I don’t have a specific timetable as to when I will announce a starter. We will let you know.”
Swinney said it was a good day of practice, but he was without a lot of players due to injury. “”You get a lot of players out at this time of the year. Today was our fifth straight day of practice. We will take tomorrow off and it comes at a good time.
“The defense is still ahead of the offense, but the offense is making progress, especially in the offensive line. We had better pass protection overall. It is tough to evaluate when you have the no hitting the quarterback rule and it makes it a lot easier to record sacks.
“What bothered me the most today were the mistakes by the offense in the red-zone. We had a great opening drive where we took the ball from the 30 to the 16, then had a turnover. Other times we had an offside’s or a holding penalty in the red-zone that negated a positive play.”
Three players suffered injuries during the scrimmage. Starting offensive tackle Chris Hairston suffered a muscle strain in his neck, while Terence Ashe suffered a mild concussion. Freshman linebacker Corico Hawkins suffered a knee injury.
Missing the practice completely were Jacoby Ford (hamstring), Jamie Cumbie (shoulder), Andre Ellington (knee), Michael Palmer (foot), Wilson Norris (knee), Brandon Clear (ribs) and Miguel Chavis (hamstring).