Observations from the Orange and White game

by - Senior Writer -
Freshman Corey Crawford was impressive with two sacks for the White squad.

CLEMSON – The first play of the Orange and White Game hadn’t even occurred, and new offensive coordinator Chad Morris was already screaming.

“Tempo, tempo, tempo,” Morris yelled – windmilling his arms for effect - as freshman quarterback Cole Stoudt Cole Stoudt
# 6-3, 195
Dublin, OH

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and the White offense took the field for the game’s first play Saturday in Death Valley.

Despite the struggles of both offenses at times, it was apparent that Morris wasn’t kidding when he said he wanted for his team to get to the line quickly and get the ball snapped with somewhere between 18 and 20 seconds left on the play clock.

That was indeed the case on Saturday, and there were several snaps that came with more than 20 seconds left on the play clock.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said he was pleased with the tempo, and said he would love to see it go even faster once the season starts.

"People saw that we will run a fast paced offense this coming season, but we really would like to go faster," Swinney said. "We hope to play even faster than that. I think we're going to be a tough team to defend when it's all said and done and when we get all the pieces to the puzzle here.”

Other observations from the sideline:

* The running backs – All three of the running backs that played Saturday – Rod McDowell, Demont Buice Demont Buice
Running Back
#24 6-0, 220
Gadsden, AL

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and D.J. Howard D.J. Howard
Running Back
#22 5-11, 190
Lincoln, AL

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– needed to put their best foot forward (no pun intended) and leave a lasting impression in the minds of the coaching staff before the fall. With starter Andre Ellington Andre Ellington
Running Back
#23 5-10, 190
Moncks Corner, SC

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supposed to be back from injury, and recruit Mike Bellamy Mike Bellamy
Running Back
# 5-10, 187
Punta Gorda, FL

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expected to be a factor the moment he steps on campus, carries will be limited. Each player needed to have a good game in order to put themselves in the running for those carries, and each had his bright spots.

McDowell – the lone holdover from last season – looked better at setting up his blocks than he did at any point last season and finished with an even 100 yards on 12 carries. Demont Buice had 18 carries for 102 yards and showed a physical style that will be needed close to the goal line, and Swinney called Buice his “changeup back” in the postgame press conference.

Howard had 11 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown, and he showed he has the quickness to hit the hole and break off large chunks of yards in this offense. This is a competition that should go all the way into fall camp.

“I was pleased with what I saw in the running game today,” Swinney said. “All three of our backs ran well. We had a fumble that was disappointing [McDowell]. I thought D.J. showed his explosiveness and quickness, and I thought Buice showed his toughness. It’s been a good spring for our backs, but they’ve got a lot to learn.”

* Remember the name Corey Crawford Corey Crawford
Defensive Line
#93 6-5, 275
Chatham, VA

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– The freshman defensive end capped off a superlative spring with another good effort on Saturday as he tallied two sacks for the White squad.

“You would pretty much have to be asleep to not notice Corey Crawford,” Swinney said after the game. “He is a pretty special player.”

Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele said that Crawford looks like he’s been on campus longer than just a few months.

“He’s a rookie, and he has a long way to go, but Crawford was impressive,” Steele said. “He has a good football I.Q., and he comes to practice and he asks questions, and he looks you in the eye. He acts like he has been around here for three or four years. Now, sometimes a young player hears stuff like that and your words come back to bite you, so we’ll have to stay on him.”

Crawford said that spending last fall at Hargrave Military Academy only fueled his desire to compete, and that Steele won’t have to constantly prod him.

“Hopefully I can keep learning and Coach Steele won’t have his words come back and bite him,” Crawford said. “Going to Hargrave was hard for me, but now I see it’s going to help me in the long run. I want to get better, but what I really want is for this team to get better. If the team accomplishes its goals, then all of my goals will be accomplished. I felt comfortable out there today, even though I was nervous in the beginning about playing in this environment. But overall, I thought it was a great spring.”

* Playmakers needed – The wide receivers were, as expected, a mixed bag on Saturday. DeAndre “Nuk” Hopkins played with his usual intensity, and it looks like Jaron Brown Jaron Brown
Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 200
Cheraw, SC

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is making strides. Marquan Jones Marquan Jones
Wide Receiver
#26 6-0, 195
Columbia, SC

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had left the game with a right shoulder injury, and he had a nice grab down the sideline early in the contest.

However, if Clemson is to make the kind of strides Swinney wants to make this season, it’s obvious that the freshmen who come in over the summer are going to have to play huge roles.
Swinney even admitted that in his postgame press conference.

“The guys that really showed up this spring were Jaron and Nuk,” he said. “They were outstanding, and had as good a spring as you can hope for. Marquan had a very solid spring, and Joe Craig Joe Craig
Wide Receiver
#81 5-10, 160
Gaffney, SC

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is a young guy that who showed some flashes and he will have a role with us.

“Bryce [McNeal] was up and down. But there is no question that some of those freshmen coming in here will change the whole complexion of our offense. We’ve got some really good, young football players that will have a say in how well we do this season. They will have a chance to come in here and compete for playing time early on, and I think they will do that.”

Quarterback Tajh Boyd Tajh Boyd
#10 6-1, 230
Hampton, VA

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said he can't wait to see how the offense does with the new players.

“Hopefully those new guys will come in with a fire in their bellies and show us they want to play,” he said. “I can't wait to see how this offense plays when we have everybody here.”

* Boyd ready to go to work – Boyd showed he has made real progress since the end of last season, but he also showed he has plenty to work on over the summer and during fall camp.

Admittedly, he was playing without a number of playmakers, and he forced a few throws into coverage as his frustration grew.

However, he managed the game well and showed a surprising flair for running the football.

“I guess people around here don’t think I can run,” Boyd said after the game. “But that is something I have really been working on –my footwork, and my quickness and my agility. But I know this summer is going to be important for me and for this team. If we are going to be the type of team we want to be – which is a championship team – it will all start with the work we put in this summer.”

Swinney said he was pleased with how the rising redshirt sophomore managed the game.

“He played smart, but he has to continue to grow,” Swinney said. “He needs to take what’s there and not force things, and it was good to see him do that. And he can run the ball. What we did today was very vanilla, but we need for him to be on fire when he shows back up. This is going to be a special year for him.”

* Speaking of quarterbacks – Cole Stoudt’s numbers weren’t eye-popping as he finished with six completions in 22 attempts for 118 yards. But the freshman showed poise under pressure and put the ball on the money on several throws. He especially showed a nice touch on some of his deep throws.

Tight end Dwayne Allen Dwayne Allen
Tight End
#83 6-3, 245
Fayetteville, NC

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said the team knows Boyd is the starter – and he should be – but would have confidence in Stoudt if he had to play.

“Tajh has worked so hard this spring and he has come along so much,” Allen said. “He is going to have a great year. Cole can throw the ball around. He is highly intelligent and understands the offense. He is a student of the game, and I’m not just saying as a freshman. Coach Morris does an unbelievable job of preparing his quarterbacks, and he holds them accountable. We would feel comfortable with any of them in there.”

* Kicking game – Punter Dawson Zimmerman Dawson Zimmerman
Punter / Kicker
#96 6-2, 205
Lawrenceville, GA

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was his usual, reliable self as he averaged a booming 52.6 yards per kick on six punts. He even had a nice kickoff that sailed into the back of the end zone. I asked him where that came from, and he laughed, and said, “It’s been there the whole time.”

However, the Tigers missed an extra point due to an issue with the hold, and two field goals were missed. Spencer Benton Spencer Benton
Punter / Kicker
#13 6-2, 195
Myrtle Beach, SC

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nailed one field from 51 yards that would have been good from 65 yards away, while starter Chandler Catanzaro Chandler Catanzaro
Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 205
Greenville, SC

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missed one from the same distance.

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Subject (Replies: 30) Author
Observations from the Orange and White game
Re: Observations from the Orange and White game
I worry about the fast paced offense. Gimmicky offenses
Why do you think our new offense won't incorporate power,
CM Shack
Re: Boyd
offense receiving
Joe Craig?
Re: Observations from the Orange and White game
Re: Observations from the Orange and White game
There must be some magic in that #93 jersey***
1000th take of Spring Football
Prime T. Tiger
I actually liked how the DBs looked
well actually...
Prime T. Tiger
I agree, I don't think the secondary has been tested much
Re: 1000th take of Spring Football
Boyd/Stoudt, Simmons/Whitehurst.*
El Tigre'
Stoudt/Whitehurst = immobile passer = bad-fit-for-Morris O***
That is the same logic many used to champion Proctor
CM Shack
Re: Stoudt/Whitehurst = immobile passer = bad-fit-for-Morris O***
I said that back in Feb--LMBO***
Prime T. Tiger
I knew QB might be an issue. Unfortunate that the
Re: I knew QB might be an issue. Unfortunate that the
Re: I knew QB might be an issue. Unfortunate that the
If that natural talent could execute he would have come back***
CM Shack
Observations from the Orange and White game Kicking Game
Corey Crawford
Just say it - We're not good - This will be Dabos last year***
Re: Just say it -OK - glass is half full not half empty
Re: Just say it -OK - glass is half full not half empty
For real...2 posts...shuthphockup!***

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