CLEMSON - Saturday's second stadium scrimmage for the Clemson football team proved to be one of mixed messages.
On one hand, the Tigers' offense was very proficient. Clemson quarterbacks completed 38-of-50 passes on the day, the running game turned in solid numbers and there were enough big plays to satisfy both head coach Tommy Bowden and offensive coordinator Rob Spence.
What irked the duo, though, was the combination of turnovers and penalties. The offense fumbled four times and threw two interceptions on the afternoon, while at the same time garnering as many as seven illegal procedure penalties for jumping the snap.
By the time it was all said and done, Bowden was clearly frustrated.
"Staying still until the snap, that's something you work on Day One," he said. "We're having problems with it two weeks before the season opener. That doesn't send a good message."
"The disappointing part is that we've not been a team gone offsides, we've been very procedurally sound since I've been here," said Spence. "Today we went offsides quite a bit. We also turned the ball over quite a bit. That's obviously not good."
Part of the problem, Spence conceded, is fatigue. Sunday's scheduled day off for the players could be coming at just the right time.
"I imagine we're very tired right now. I know we're tired," he said. "I know it's hard to scrimmage the same people, day in and day out. It creates an atmosphere where it's hard to focus all the time. That might be some of it."
Still, it wasn't all bad news. When the offense was able to hold on to the ball, it turned in some fairly impressive numbers. Including:
- Starting quarterback Will Proctor completing 16-of-20 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Cullen Harper was 14-of-21 for 82 yards;
- Jacoby Ford had a team-high six receptions for 32 yards; Durrell Barry had a 38-yard touchdown catch, while Chansi Stuckey's lone reception was for 15 yards and a TD;
- Demerick Chancellor led all running backs with six carries for 87 yards, including a 55-yard score.
But the turnovers led to big plays for the defense, as well.
Roy Walker returned an interception 30 yards, while Sadat Chambers scooped up a fumble and returned it 50 yards.
Nick Watkins was the top tackler with six, including one for a loss in goal line work.
Clemson will take Sunday off, then return to work with a pair of practices on Monday.