CLEMSON, SC - Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden gave the edge to the defense
after Saturday's controlled scrimmage at Death Valley. The Tigers worked
in Clemson Memorial Stadium for three hours for over 125 snaps on Saturday.
Clemson will have Sunday off, then will have two-a-day workouts on Monday
and Tuesday prior to the start of school on Wednesday.
"The defense continued to dominate, but I am happy with that at
this point," said Bowden, whose team opens the season September 2 against
The Citadel. "The defense has shown more quickness and enthusiasm so far.
We have two weeks to get the offense's timing down. But, that is usually
the case this time of the year.
"Overall it is good that the defense is ahead. It makes me feel
more confident about our team at this point. Our defense might be pretty
good this year.
"We didn't have many big plays today on offense, that is something
we need to improve on. We will pair things down by Wednesday and get into
our gameplan for the opening of the season."
Sophomore linebacker Rodney Thomas led the way for the defense with
seven tackles (including one tackle for loss), one sack and one caused
fumble. Freshman John Leake and sophomore Brian Mance each had five
tackles. Leake had one tackle for loss. Junior Altroy Bodrick had two
pass breakups, one interception and one tackle, which was for a loss.
Junior Braxton Williams also had a pass break up and two tackles.
Clemson hit five of six field goal tries Saturday in the
scrimmage. Freshman kicker Aaron Hunt nailed all three of his field goal
attempts, hitting from 40, 21 and 19 yards. Tony Lazzara made a 25-yard
field goal and missed from 44 yards. Both performed well in the kicking
situations prior to the scrimmage. Bo Charpia also split the uprights
from 32 yards. "Tony Lazzara has had a good fall and Aaron Hunt showed a
live leg today. He didn't miss a kick in the work we did prior to the
Red-shirt freshman Willie Simmons completed 11 of 22 passes for 121
yards and had five carries for 11 yards, while Junior Woodrow Dantzler was
13 of 33 for 95 yards. Dantzler had to face the number-one defense much
of the afternoon. Simmons completed a 30-yard pass to Kevin Youngblood
and a 24-yarder to Rod Gardner. That was Gardner's only catch of the
scrimmage. He played sparingly while recovering from a turf toe.
Sophomore Matt Schell passed for 42 yards with one touchdown and one
interception. He was eight of 15 for the day. Sophomore Joe Bever was
three for four for 13 yards.
Youngblood led all receivers with five catches for 56 yards,
while senior Mike Seth had five catches for 23. Travis Zachery caught four
for 32 yards and Joe Don Reames grabbed 4-28. Freshman Terrance Huey was
the top rusher with 3-43. Chad Jasmin added 7-29.
Kyle Young continued to miss time at center due to a foot injury.
Bowden hopes the first-team academic All-American will return next week.
In an effort to find depth at that position, Bowden moved Theo Mougros to
center much of the day. "We don't want to go into the first game not
knowing what we will do for a backup center. We must decide if center is
the right position for Jermyn Chester. We will make that decision next
"I loved playing center," said Mougros, who has played many
positions in his Clemson career. "Anytime you move to another position it
gives you a fresh outlook. Center is a very important position in our
offense. I just want to do what I can to help the team."