Clemson, SC-Keith Kelly and J.J. McKelvey both had 100-yard performances to lead the offense, while Eric Meekins had 10 tackles, a blocked field
goal and an interception to lead the defense in Clemson's first major
scrimmage of the spring practice session.
The Tigers worked for two and a half hours on the practice fields
behind the Jervey Athletic Center. The scrimmage concluded Clemson's
first week of spring practice. The Tigers will practice three more
times this week before taking a week off for the University's spring
break. The annual spring game is April 6 at 1:00 PM at Riggs Field.
Kelly, who red-shirted last year, led the running backs with 13
attempts for 109 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes.
Bernard Rambert started the scrimmage with the first team offense and
had five rushes for 29 yards. Head Coach Tommy Bowden had said prior
to the scrimmage that Rambert would only see limited action and that
he hoped to get Kelly plenty of work. Jasmin had seven rushes for 17
yards and two rushing touchdowns, then added a third score on a
McKelvey led the receivers with four catches for 104 yards and two
scores. He caught two scoring passes from freshman quarterback
Charlie Whitehurst, passes that were 24 and five yards in distance.
McKelvey also had receptions of 35 and 42 yards from Whitehurst, who
was 14-15 for 227 yards and four scores on the day. Whitehurst
quarterbacked the second unit against the second-team defense all day. Clemson starting quarterback Willie Simmons faced Clemson's
number-one defense all day and hit on 8-18 passes for 61 yards and a
score. He completed a 48-yard scoring pass to graduate student
Jackie Robinson. Derrick Hamilton had four catches for 28 yards and
two rushes for 12 yards. Receiver Tony Elliot had a strong scrimmage
with three catches for 64 yards, including a 28-yard score and had
two rushes for 15 yards.
Clemson placekicker Aaron Hunt had a strong scrimmage, kicking four
field goals, all from 24-28 yards in length. He did not miss an
Meekins led the defense with the aforementioned statistics. John
Leake, Clemson's leading returning tackler from last year, added 10
tackles and two sacks, while Rodney Thomas had nine tackles,
including a tackle for loss. Leroy Hill added two tackles for loss,
as did freshman defender David Dunham.
Clemson ran 101 plays for 522 yards on the day. The Clemson
quarterbacks were a combined 24-39 for 298 yards and six scores.
Clemson had 64 rushes for 224 yards as a team. The defense recorded
eight sacks, however the scrimmage was played with a liberal in the
grasp rule so as to avoid injuries to Clemson's signal callers.
There were no injuries in the scrimmage. Strong safety Altroy
Bodrick was at the scrimmage, but is being held out of contact this
spring as he recovers from a torn ACL. Todd McClinton, who missed
most of Friday's practice due to injury, was back for the scrimmage
Saturday and was credited with two tackles. McClinton is working on
the defensive line after lettering as a backup tight end last year.
"Overall it was a good first scrimmage," said Head Coach Tommy
Bowden. "I thought some players stood out today. Keith Kelly ran
well. We wanted to get him a lot of work after red-shirting last
year and he ran hard. We know what Bernard Rambert can do. Charlie
Whitehurst had a good day throwing the ball against the number-two
defense. He did everything we asked of him."
"J.J. McKelvey stood out among the receivers. We made those 50-50
catches today against smaller defensive backs. But, at 6-4, those
are plays he can make. Eric Meekins stood out on defense. He
covered a lot of area, blocked a kick and had an interception. We
need him to make big plays from that safety position.
"It was good to see Todd McClinton back on the field today. He has
played well on the defensive line. He is making progress."