Justyn Ross has been impressive in fall camp
Justyn Ross has been impressive in fall camp

Scrimmage Insider: Dixon, Ross, and the offense dominate first scrimmage

by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Clemson held its first stadium of scrimmage of fall camp Saturday in Death Valley, and there were three takeaways after speaking with the coaches and the players…..Justyn Ross and Lyn-J Dixon are playing like grown men and the offense won the day.

One observer told me that the offense “needed that today.” So did the defense, which we know doesn’t need to be worried about. Brent Venables will have his group ready to play three weeks from today.

"There were a lot of great catches today. Coaching a position for a long time, I used to walk out of a scrimmage and if my guys had a great guy I felt good about it because that is what you were responsible for and you were trying to get them ready for the season,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “You are not really worried about the rest of it. You weren't worried if the DBs had a bad day. I hate those days as a head coach, I really do. As a head coach, I like it when it is a bunch of good-on-good over here and some really competitive misses here and there.

"I like it a little more balanced. That is what I really prefer. I don't like when the defense dominates or the offense dominates, but that is what it really was today. I thought the offense dominated the day. Call it like it is. From the opening drive. Good-on-good. Seventy-yard drive with a touchdown right out of the gate. I thought Kelly (Bryant) set the tempo and then Trevor (Lawrence) came in and kept it up.”

Some quick hits in the 106-play scrimmage, which was played with zero turnovers.

*Dabo Swinney noted that the defense has led the nation in three-and-outs more than once over the last several seasons but didn’t force a three-and-out until late today.

*Dixon, the freshman running back, took his first carry 50 yards and followed that up with a 25-yarder. Tight end Milan Richard told us that Dixon has been lights out in camp, saying the freshman goes a thousand miles an hour all the time. “He just doesn’t show any fear,” Richard said.

Swinney said much the same thing.

“And 23 has no fear. He has one gear which is wide open,” Swinney said. “He has great vision. He had two long runs today, one was a 50-yarder and another was a 25-yarder. I really like what I've seen.”

*Ross had three catches of the highlight reel variety, including one in which he went up and over the defense and plucked the ball out of the air with one hand. Both Jeff Scott and Swinney were suitably impressed.

“Justyn Ross. Whew. His first catch was a one-handed, go and up and then pluck it right out of the air,” Swinney said. “And then he came back and one-upped himself with another one. He was spectacular today. Finishing plays. It's one thing to be in position but he finished it. He had a great day finishing the plays.”

*Scott told that guard Matt Bockhorst is pushing for playing time. “He’s one of those guys you don’t have to say sic ‘em, you have to say whoa,” Scott said.

*Cornerback Trayvon Mullen missed the scrimmage to attend a funeral. Another corner, Mario Goodrich, was out with a groin injury. We heard the defensive end Logan Rudolph was escorted off the field after throwing a punch.

*Wide receiver Trevion Thompson got banged up towards the end of the scrimmage (not believed to be serious), and that allowed Will Swinney to get third-team reps. Swinney had a nice catch-and-run.

*Scott said that tight end Braden Galloway was hurt and didn’t participate in the scrimmage.

*Greg Huegel hit a 50-yard field goal. Swinney said BT Potter excelled on kickoffs.

*Swinney said one of the punters dropped a punt for a safety.

David Hood Breaks down Saturday's Scrimmage

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