Clemson, SC-Junior running back Chad Jasmin scored three touchdowns
and wide receiver Airese Currie had 99 yards receiving on three
catches to highlight action in the Clemson Spring Football Game. The
contest was played on Historic Riggs Field, the first football game
played at the facility since 1968 when the Clemson freshman team
played Duke. Clemson Memorial Stadium is undergoing renovation and
that was the reason for the change of venue.
Over 8,000 fans showed up to see the 128-play scrimmage. The
offense scored 44 points on five touchdowns and three field goals.
The defense had many highlights also, picking off two passes and
forcing two lost fumbles. The defense also recorded six sacks.
Overall, the offense rushed 70 times for 240 yards and four
touchdowns, while the quarterbacks combined to hit 35 of 58 passes
for 406 yards and a touchdown.
Jasmin, a native of Louisiana who led the Tigers in yards per
carry last year, had 13 rushes for 68 yards and the three touchdowns.
He scored on touchdown runs of six and 16 yards in the first half,
then scored on a one-yard run in the fourth period. Clifford
Harrell scored the only other rushing touchdown on a one-yard run.
Wide receiver Derrick Hamilton had the only score receiving on a
19-yard catch from Willie Simmons.
Clemson's top two quarterbacks had good days throwing the
ball. Starter Willie Simmons hit on 13 of 25 passes for 198 yards
and a touchdown. He also had 6-48 rushing and often looked like his
predecessor, Woodrow Dantzler, when it came to running the ball.
Simmons, who will graduate in May with two years of eligibility
remaining, led the number-one offense to three touchdowns and a pair
of field goals.
Rising sophomore Charlie Whitehurst hit on 20-26 passes for 174
yards. He did not throw a touchdown pass, but led the number-two
offense to two touchdowns and a field goal. Third string QB Joe
Bever was 2-7 for 34 yards.
The top receiver in terms of number of catches was Eugene
Koon, a walk-on who caught six passes for 54 yards. Hamilton had
4-74 and the touchdown, while Bobby Williamson had 4-47 as a tight
end. Jeff Scott contributed 4-35 in terms of receiving. Currie had
99 yards receiving on catches of 22, 33 and 44 yards.
Aaron Hunt continued his outstanding kicking. The rising
junior nailed field goals of 52 and 39 yards. Kyle Tucker added a
The defense had a solid outing. Eric Meekins stood out with
nine tackles, including eight first hits, and he also recovered a
fumble. John Leake, Clemson's leading returning tackler from last
year, had 13 tackles, including 10 first hits. Leroy Hill had 12
tackles, while Mo Fountain had six tackles, including a pair of
sacks. J.J. Howard also had two sacks among his three tackles.
David Dunham had seven tackles from a linebacker postion.
In addition to Meekins's takeaway, Todd McClinton had a
fumble recovery, Toure Francis had an interception and Terrance Huey
had a 52-yard interception return.
Altroy Bodrick, a strong safety returning in 2002 after
missing 2001 with a torn ACL, sat out the scrimmage, as did wide
receiver Roscoe Crosby, who is working out for the Kansas City Royals
on the weekends in the spring. He will play professional baseball
this summer. Wide receiver Kevin Youngblood, who missed last year
with a broken leg, dressed, but did not play in the scrimmage.
Charles Harper was out with a knee injury.
"I was pleased with out performance today and in the spring
overall," said Head Coach Tommy Bowden. " We got a lot of work in
today and it was a very good atmosphere, playing here at Riggs Field.
It was a great day for football at Clemson."
Bowden was pleased with the performance of his quarterbacks,
running back Chad Jasmin and some improving players on defense.
"Willie Simmons came on strong after spring break. He had his best
practice on Thursday, then looked strong throwing the ball today. He
ran the ball well also. Those were not designed draw plays like we
did with Woody, but he took advantage of some opportunities.
"Chad Jasmin is rounding into form. He has two years left
and has made strong improvement. He ran well today. He can help us
as a fullback or tailback. Derrick Hamilton and Airese Currie both
played well. They are rising sophomores who are going to be
important players for us next year.
"I thought the defense played well. There were some hard
hits out there. I thought Eric Meekins played well, Mo Fountain
continued to make some plays on the defensive line, something he has
done all spring. David Dunham made some strong hits also. "Overall, we got a lot out of this spring."
Clemson Spring Game Statistics
Chad Jasmin 13-68-3; Tye Hill 13-50; Willie Simmons 6-48; Bernard
Rambert 3-23; Kyle Browning 4-20; Keith Kelly, 5-20; Lionel
Richardson 7-17; Cliff Harrell 5-10-1; Britt Sherman 1-3; Tyrone
Lee 3-3; Brandon Holmes 1-1; Charlie Whitehurst 9- (-23)
Willie Simmons 13-25-0-198-1; Charlie Whitehurst 20-26-2-174; Joe
Eugene Koon 6-54; Derrick Hamilton 4-74-1; Bobby Williamson 4-47;
Jeff Scott 4-35; Airese Currie 3-99; Jackie Robinson 3-21; Ronnie
Thomas 3-15; Tony Elliott 2-24; J.J. McKelvey 2-12; Gene Pate
1-30; Ben Hall 1-6
Terrance Huey 1-52; Toure Francis 1-0
Fumble Recoveries: Meekins, McClinton
Caused Fumbles: Mance, Feaster
Passes Broken Up: Monts, Fudge, Johnson, Burnett
Leake 13, Hill 12, Meekins 9, Monts 7, Pugh 7, Dunham 7, Fountain 6,
Burnette 5, Fudge 5, Johnson 5, Feaster 5,