CLEMSON -- The Valley was a bit warm today as Bowden kept us waiting with anticipation. The Tigers ran out a little late but was warmly received at 18 minutes after 3:00. We saw Reno trot out, and we knew the team wouldn't be far behind because Reno hates the hot weather (jk Reno). Three kickers tee-d the ball up and all three kicked into a steady wind coming off the lake. It is apparent that Hunt's groin has healed as his leg is much stronger. # 86 Bo Charpia, a taller slender from Summerville has a lead foot! He was booming kick offs like a canon. He needs work on accuracy with FG's but he is potentially the Tigers Kick off specialist. There were no returns and the offense generally started from the 30 yardline. the offense was a bit quicker this year moreso than last year because I could barely, if at all keep up with my shorthand notes. Forgive me if I leave out a few details, but hey, that's a good thing.
First Team Offense: 20 10
17 77 - 78 - 59 - 71 - 61 80
vs 1st Team Def: 2 48 - 97 - 95 - 56 27
Willie Simmons (7) lined up under center at the thirty yardline. A quick snap and WS throws high and away to the sidelines towards his favorite target (17) Kevin Youngblood. Second and Ten, and WS is back in the gun in a one back, four wide (2&2) set. WS hands off to (20) Bernard Rambert who hits the line and goes no further. The Defense played very well today I thought. For the most part they held the Offense in check. Ok, it's third and ten from the gun WS whips a tight spiral to the side lines to KY(17) who runs just past the first down marker and hooks in. First down. KY's hands and upper body strength have improved a great deal over last year.
First and ten from the 41, WS hands off to BR(20) for an inside gain of 5 yards from the one back set. Second and Five, from the same set BR(20) runs a counter/trap but the defense meets him at the line of scrimmage (LOS). Third and Five from the 46, WS from the gun throws a bullet to KY(17) who hooks in just beyond the marker for another first down. The Offense comes right back and delivers another tight spiral for thirteen yards to KY(17). Now at the 36, WS from the gun rolls left and threads a 12 yard pass between defenders and hits Jackie Robinson (82) in the numbers.... who drops it. Second and ten, WS throws a quick hitter to JR(82) in the flats in a WR screen that only nets three yards as the Defense closed quickly. Third and seven, WS goes deep down the sideline to KY(17) who uses the patented Rod Gardner separation technique but the ball is overthrown. Hunt (19) trots on for a mere 50 yard FG attempt and nails it with ten yards to spare! He did have the wind at his back but hey it was GOOD! All three following kick off's sail into the endzone. The QB has has a bit more time to throw the ball than last year which is nice but the OL's are not making any huge running lanes yet. Next series.
Second Team enters with Matt Schell(15) at the helm to face the second team Defense. First and ten at the thirty. From the gun MS hands off the BR(20) who hammers into the defense for a one yard gain. Second and nine, MS from the gun throws a quick strike to Ronnie Thomas (85) who grabs the ball out of the air and turns forcing himself through the DB for almost ten yards and a first down. Next, MS(15) tries to roll left and as he begins to throw Donnel Washington(96) dives and slaps at the arm causing a fumble that the defense recovers. Now we return to the 30 for a new series of downs as apparently Schell called a Mulligan.
first and ten and MS(15) tries to make up for the fumble with a 51 yard pass to walk on Tony Elliot (38). It was a beautiful well place spiral that TE(38) did a great job holding on to and getting extra yardage as it took two to bring him down. This walk on has great hands and a great motor. I was impressed with his "skills" from beginning to end. The Offense is now in the red zone at the 19 yard line. Schell takes the snap and hands off the BR(20) who weaves thru the middle cutting right and then breaking left past over pursuing LB's for a 19 yard TD run! All three PAT's were good. I wish we got three chances in a real game. One of the kickers was named Buddy Gore.
Simmons returns with the first team at begins at the thirty. From the gun WS hands of to Keith Kelly (5) who finds himself stuffed by a blitzing defense for a one yard loss. With second and eleven WS flips a spiral to an inside five and in route to Joe Don (16). Joe Don tries to cut it all the way across and almost breaks this one for a long gain but is tripped up after netting five yards. Third and six, and WS goes to new faithful KY(17) in the flats running another hook route beyond the marker for a 13 yard gain and a first down. Let me note, that I thought the DB's were playing a pretty tight coverage and alot of the time they were hitting the WR's the same time the ball was getting there. The WR's were doing a great job holding on to the ball today. Many of those balls could have easily been PBU's. WS(7) goes under center and the Offense moves into the I formation. What the?!?!?! Full back up the middle! On first down WS hands off to Chad Jasmin(10) who takes it up the middle for a two yard gain and a cloud of dust. There was definite murmuring from the crowd as they vaguely recollect the FB dive :O) Second and eight, WS drops back on a play action and steps back up in the pocket. A DL manages to grab WS's jersey and they call a sack. Under normal game conditions WS would have gotten away from that one.... @!#%^* refs. A loss of 7 yards incurs. Next WS drops back to hit (38) on a deep post pattern as penalty flag is dropped and the he is called for off. pass interference. Declined as the pass was incomplete. The punter (32) Winn Kopp miffs one that still goes about 45 yards. BTW Winn (32) can really get off some good punts. Some of his kicks reminded me of Gardocki's. Next series.
Matt Schell re enters with the Second Team at the 30. The first down MS(15) throws a little behind the WR incomplete. Second down he hands off to KK(5) for hard earned five yard gain. Third down Schell overthrows the intended receiver by a large margin. Jolly comes on to punt and shanks it. Not a good series for the team.
Simmons returns with the first unit. From the 30 WS takes the snap from a one back set and throws a rope to KY(17) in the flats for an 11 yard gain. He is hit immediately. First down on the 41, from the one back set WS hands off to BR(20) who manages to get 4 yards up the middle. Second and six, WS moves under center and tosses right to BR(20) who gets close to a first but there is a face mask call against the offense that negates the play. Now its second and twenty from the 30. WS takes the snap from the gun and scrambles up the gut for seven yards. On third the defense applies great pressure and WS has to throw it away. Winn Kopp comes into punt. It appears he doesn't hit it well again but it still goes 45 yards from the LOS. Next series.
Brian Carr (11) enters with the second team at the thirty. First play in the one back set he hands of to (KK) who manages a yard. The next play appeared to be a miscommunication as BC(11) throws short and the WR runs a longer route. Third and ten, BC (11) rolls right and sees his first WR covered and throws it back along the hash to JJ McKelvey (84) who makes a good catch and turns to get eleven yards and the first down. The next play BC (11) throws it low and into the dirt. Second down KK (5) can only get back to the LOS. Third down, John Leake (45) bolts around the left end and potato sacks Carr for a loss of six. Jolly miffs a punt that may have netted 30 yards into the wind.
Simmons is back in with the first team. Starting at the........... 30 you guessed it. In the one back, four wide set WS rolls right under pressure and releases it to BR(20) beyond the LOS. The LB does a great job keeping up with BR and he only nets 3 yards on the pass play. Second and seven and BR(20) gets the ball again on a hand off in the one back set and gains another 3 yards. Third and 4 WS takes the snap and bullets the ball to Bailey (80) in the flats. MB (80) does well to hold on to the ball as Mance is all over him and Bailey gains 13 yards on the delivery. First down, Chad Carson (46) busts thru the LOS on a blitz and tackles #25 for a loss of four yards. The next play the big Bush (95) deflects WS's pass at the LOS and CC(46) works to intercept the live ball for no return. Next Series.
Carr enters with the no. two unit. First down from the 43 this time because of the INT. Tricked you, huh? Carr hands off to KK (5) who is met by both LB's (47) and (41) just beyond the LOS for a 2.5 yard gain. ON second down BC (11) has to scramble but is sacked for a loss by (57) Williams. Unfortunately (57) Williams is injured on the next play. His right shoulder was injured extent unknown. Carr then throws over head for an incomplete pass and Winn comes in and punts a 35 yarder into the wind.
Willie is back with the number one's. They line up in the I formation and hand off to BR(20) off tackle for a one yard gain. Second and nine WS throws a nice pass from the one back shotgun. The ball goes right thru the hands of MB(80). Third and nine, WS throws a strike to MB(80) for an apparent 18 yards but there is a holding penalty that backs the OFF up. Third and long, WS tries to hit JR(82) dragging into the zone along the left hash but the ball is overthrown. Winn come in and hits a 42 yard punt.
Schell is back in town and you're gonna be in trouble! From the 30 and the one back set MS(15) hands off to Huey(35) who counters for a one yard gain. Second and nine, MS(15) throws it nicely to TE(38) who takes it out of the air and turns for extra yardage gaining 15 yards. First down, at the 45 MS(15) mishandles the snap and recovers his own fumble for a 12 yard loss. Schell goes back to (38) on the next play who again turns and gets extra yardage to get 15 more yards. Third MS hands off to (35) THuey who gets a quick six yards and a first. Fom the gun MS(15) finds Derrick Hamilton (21) streaking down a lane for a gain of 24 yards and another first. next MS rolls right and tosses it out to the TE (88) but fall incomplete. Second down and the Off moves to the 5 WR set. Schell hits DH(21) on a seven yard hook. It's now third and three. Rodney Thomas (41) blitzes up the middle and causes a fumble from #29 but the Off recovers the ball for a five yard loss. The FG unit come son and misses from the eight BUT they roughed the kicker, so, First down on the two. From the I formation CJ(10) dives and powers up the middle for a TD! Of the three following PAT's, Lazarra missed, Tucker Good, Hunt Good.
WS is back on the field at the familiar 30 yard line. First down and Bad Carson (46) disrupts the play in the backfield but KK(5) fights and gets four yards. Second and six, Bailey drops a low pass in the flats. Third and six WS hums a frozen rope to the sideline and hits KY(17) posting up ten yards down field for a first. Next play WS drops back and heaves a sideline fly to KY(17) who demonstrates a little pull away speed for a gain of 47 yards! Super catch and throw to the seven yard line. First and goal WS from the gun keeps it and weaves it middle then left untouched for the TD! PAT's of the three Charpia(86) missed two attempts but hey he boomed it, But the other guy made it. On the following Kick off to his credit (86) Charpia kicks it super high to the back of the endzone. Very strong leg. That would be his right one.
Carr trots out with the second unit and hits DH(21) on a quick six yard hook. Second and four, and Carr hands off to BR(20) from the one back set who manages 3 yards before both LB's hit him. Third and four and the OFF moves to the I formation. BR(20) takes the hand off and slips thru the gap and cuts back thru the middle weaving speedily past the secondary for a 53 yard gain. The two DB's, Hemby being one, were able to turn and close on him before he reached the goal line. BR(20) is noticeably a step quicker than TZ but maybe not as strong. First and goal from the nine, Carr changes the play to a floating corner pass to DH(21) in the back of the endzone but it is thrown out of bounds. Carr then hands off to KK(5) who pushes the defense for five yards. Carr then rolls right on the next play to hit Garner at the flag but the play was well defended and Carr should have tucked it in and ran and may have scored. The FG attempt by #39 was good. the other 39 missed and 86 missed but man he boomed it. :o)
First Team returns in the 5 wide set. KK(5) at HB comes across for the shuttle pass from WS and gains 4 yards as McNeil (91) closes from behind and dives to trip Kelly up. It was a good read on McNeal's part. Second and six and WS zips another straight line to KY(17) hooking in on the sideline and gains another 11 yards. Next WS tries to release to KK(5) rolling to the flats but the pass was to far ahead. Second down, and Bailey follows the hash in an open lane and WS hits him in the gap for an eleven yard gain. First down and the defense meets KK(5) at the LOS for no gain. Second, From the I formation WS fakes the hand off in a play action but over throws his target on the sideline (17). Third and ten from the 44 yard line, MB(80) sprints to the open area of the zone to receive yet another frozen rope for 14 yards and a first down. From the one back set the Off tries a reverse to JR(82) who does make it to the corner and turns it up for a nice gain. However there is a penalty on the Off. for Holding and its second and 14 now. Again in the "i" BR(20) runs off tackle for a gain of eight yards off the right tackle. Next WS goes to the sideline fly route but there is Offensive pass interference. The penalty is declined because the ball fell incomplete. The next pas was overthrown to MB(80) and the Tigers are third and long. From the one back set, 2 wide, WS hands off to KK (5) who gains a hard earned seven yards. Hunt jogs on to try a 51 yard FG attempt. This time however he appears to have pulled up too soon and shanks it right. NO GOOD. ;O(
This was end of the first long and hot half.
I will summarize the next series with the third team unit. Bevers and Cantrell came in at different times at QB. They ran the ball mostly with Huey and #26 for moderate yardage. But if I may, in the pregame warm-ups I noticed that Bevers arm has improved greatly as well as his accuracy. He has a much quicker release too. Cantrell I am unfamiliar with but he did have a strong arm and make some good throws.
First Team and WS is back in the "i" . A quick exchange to the FB, CJ(10) nets four yards on the dive. Second and six, finds himself under pressure and snaps the ball out to KY(17) who makes a good catch for five more yards. Third and inches and WS does a QB sneak- which is a little unfair to the Def being that they can't hit WS. But... first down, and from the one back set, 4 wide, WS guns it to MB (80) who makes a great catch for nineteen yards. MB really grabbed the ball without using his body this time for a strong catch. First down, and the next play is a pass play again to MB(80) but it was pbu by Hafely(40). It was another good throw by WS. Second and ten, from the five wide and it was a muffed snap. WS fell on it for a loss of 5. Third and ten, a deep toss to MB(80) down the sideline was either overthrown or MB let up or both. Incomplete....... "PUNT"
Schell is back with second team and at the thirty. Single back 4 wide set, MS throws a ten yard strike to JJM(84) along the right hash for a first down. The next play TW(29) pushes 8 yards up the middle. Second and two and Schell hits the WR in the hands ten yards down field but the ball bounces out... Leake zooms by scooping up the ball before it hits the turf and turns back up field skirting the home sideline. He runs by and thru would be tacklers and then turns on the after burners as he pulls swiftly away for a sixty yard INT return for a TD....pat good. He got skills......
Simmons returns starting at the .... 25.... Ha, tricked you! I guess the refs had a five yard deficiency? CJ(10) takes it up the gut for four yards. Second and six, WS is gonna run out of rope because he threw 'em all day! He hits KY(17) at the end of a five yard hitch. First down, BR(20) takes it up the middle for three before Hafely comes up with the stop. Second and BR(20) takes a counter for anther four yards. Third and three and WS hits KY(17) for an 8 yard hook. The DB was all over him and KY still brought it in. First down, WS is pressured in the gun and he releases an ill advised deep ball to a double covered KY(17). The ball is intercepted at the 14.
Carr enters with the second team at the 14 and the RB is TFL'ed for 4 yards by (41). Second and fourteen from the 10, a complete pass to (81) merely gets back to the LOS. Third and long, and Carr keeps it off the left tackle and manages to get back 8 yards but is short of the first. Punt.
Simmons returns and throw incomplete on a deep ball. Second and ten, one back set, 3 wide, #97 deflects the pass at the LOS for an incomplete. Third and ten, and WS delivers a rocket to MB (80) who makes a good catch for a gain of 18 yards and first. The next pass was over thrown but I noticed that once again WS had plenty of time in the pocket. On the next play from the "i" there was a bad exchange between the QB and RB that resulted in a fumble, Def recovers.
There was one more series with Schell before the day ended. It was a few short runs and an incomplete. I left the auspicious confines of Death Valley with the feeling that our Defense is not as bad as I thought it would be and our offense was not as good as I thought it would be. The good news it was evident that we were hiding a portion of our offense, particularly TE plays. the Bad news is we were playing ourselves and its hard to gage how well your defense is when they see the same O package everyday. Other points of interests were marked improvement in our kicking and punting, the receivers all caught the ball very well, and our defense was able to stop the run (except one). There were also no big plays for TD's on the defense. All in all it was a good practice and the fall will be most intriguing with the QB race, the TB race, the WR race etc...... There are a few unanswered questions but still plenty of reason for guarded optimism. I'll see you all in Death Valley........... GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!
Editor's note: This is the third year Chris has keep the transcript of the Spring game for us. We appreciate his hard work.