Tigers Battle Each Other and Fatigue In Scrimmage


by - Correspondent -
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Keith Adams is the son of former Boston/New England Patriots defensive lineman Julius Adams who played 15 years in the NFL.

CLEMSON, SC - While Clemson's offense and defense beat on one another in live, situational scrimmages for the first time Wednesday, another opponent worked its way into the scheme of things.

Fatigue.

An unusually long stretch of twice-daily workouts has head coach Tommy Bowden taking full advantage of dual opportunities:

- He can better condition his team with two workouts each day;

- The inevitable mental and physical fatigue allows Bowden to play head games with his Tigers.

"You get a little more fatigue in the legs and they start feeling sorry for themselves, so you can challenge them in more ways when you have more two-a-days," Bowden said. "Football in the fourth quarter is (done) more through habit. So this give us the chance to challenge them in a fatigued environment...and see if they can do it.

"We didn't have this opportunity last year. School started too soon. It hadn't been real hot until (Wednesday), so we've been staying a little longer and doing some pretty good running. We haven't really got the heat you think you'd get here in the summer."


AUDIO
Bowden talks to media after practice on Wed.

Bowden pointed out that the NCAA only allows 29 practice opportunities during preseason. But because Clemson's season opener (Sept. 2 vs. The Citadel) is a few days earlier than last year, he can group those practices together - two at a time - for a longer stretch.

The first of Wednesday's practices saw the offense and defense battle one another in a variety of third down situations, as well as on the goal line. And for the second straight day, the defense seemed to hold the upper hand.

"The defense probably did a little bit better in the scrimmage part," Bowden said. "But the offense did better on the goal line. Greg Walker and Brady Washburn (offensive line) continue to make a little progress, and Chad Jasmin made a nice run on the goal line."

Notes:

- Bowden said he was pleased with the way his team practiced Wednesday afternoon, following the morning scrimmage.
"They always get more excited when they come out in helmets, shirts and no shoulder pads," Bowden said. "They're usually more excited then than they are in full pads."

- The goal-line work gave Bowden a chance to see how his offense handles the changes Clemson was forced to make in their short-yardage package, thanks to the ACC changing substitution rules.
"We've made adjustments," he said, noting the officials used Wednesday called no penalties in those situations.

- Several Tigers are showing their leadership skills as practice wears on.
"Keith Adams is a leader every day, but you'd like to see a few more," Bowden said. "Bryant McNeal has really practiced hard and good, and Terry Jolley's a natural leader because he loves to talk. Robert Carswell is a good leader, Woody Dantzler is a good leader."

- Senior Bryan Outlaw (Gafney) has passed redshirt freshman Jermyn Chester (Titusville, Fla.) in the race to backup center Kyle Young, according to assistant coach Ron West.

Injury update:

Out - Charles Hafley (back), Will Merritt (virus), Chad Carson (back), Kyle Young (foot), Neely Page (back), Derrick Hamilton (hamstring) and Charles Harper (hamstring). None of the injuries are serious.
Back at practice Wednesday - Bernard Rambert and Keith Kelly (hip flexors) and Theo Mougros (ankle).

- Still no updates on the eligibility status of Todd McClinton, or when Travis Roberts may return from his excused absence.


Dan Scott is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.

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