Saturday's Second Scrimmage A Good One For Quarterbacks

by - Correspondent -

CLEMSON - The students moving in on campus at Clemson Saturday got a brief taste of what it's like to be a Tiger football player these days.

With temperatures steadily rising into the upper 90s throughout the morning and into the afternoon, it was easy to break a sweat moving furniture into a dorm room or an apartment. On the field at Death Valley, the sweat rolled in buckets as Tommy Bowden's team went through its second stadium scrimmage of the preseason.

And as you might expect, such intense heat proved to be a challenge.

"They're fatigued, no question about it," Bowden said following the workout. "They don't have fresh legs, but the idea isn't to have fresh legs now. You want them to have fresh legs on Sept. 3. Some of them think they should have them now.

"But you want to see who can rise up and make a play, especially when they're tired. Those are things we watch for."

Clemson spent much of the afternoon working on the passing game, the running back duo of James Davis and C.J. Spiller getting but nine carries between them.

Both quarterbacks, projected starter Cullen Harper (9-of-15, 105 yards, int.) and freshman Willy Korn (9-of-15, 122 yards, 2TD) had good days throwing the football. And when asked if the rookie had closed any ground on Harper 15 days into fall camp, Bowden - for the first time - gave a short answer to the affirmative.

"He's closed it some. Closed it some."

Meanwhile, Bowden said he is still looking for better play out of his centers, particularly starter Barry Humphries.

"Listening to (offensive line coach Brad Scott's) comments today, we've got to get more consistent at that position," he said. "Dustin (Fry) was such a mainstay in there, and now we're putting a guy in whose never played (at this level). It's kind of like Dustin three years ago.

"You get used to a certain level of consistency and standard there, and all of the sudden there's a new guy there. And (center) is where it all starts."

Elsewhere Saturday:

- Bowden said the operation at the line of scrimmage was better this scrimmage than the first one, though in short yardage and goal line situations he was still disappointed at the penalties the offense incurred.

- Wide receiver LaDonte Harris was the one skill player who "jumped off the radar," Bowden said. Harris finished the day with four catches for 69 yards two touchdowns.

- Phillip Merling paced the defense with three tackles for loss.

- Mark Buchholz had an outstanding day in terms of field goal kicking. Prior to the scrimmage against a live rush, he connected on field goals of 34, 44 and 54 yards. The 54-yarder had five yards to spare. He also kicked a 45-yard field goal in the scrimmage. Jimmy Maners had three punts for a 44-yard average. Richard Jackson had a pair of kickoffs, both went to the goal line.

- There were no new injuries on Saturday. Eight players were dressed in yellow jerseys and missed the scrimmage due to injury: Ricky Sapp (sprained ankle), Dorell Scott (sprained ankle), Landon Walker (knee), Jamie Cumbie (shoulder), Brandon Maye (foot), Drew Traylor (foot), Antwon Murchison (concussion) and Josh Miller (oral surgery). Ray Ray McElrathbey was also at the scrimmage, but he is out for the year with a torn ACL.

- Clemson is off Sunday.

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