Clemson, SC-Charlie Whitehurst completed 12 of 17 passes for 189 yards and three touchdowns to highlight the play of the offense in Saturday's Clemson football scrimmage at Death Valley. It was the third and final full scale stadium scrimmage for the Tigers prior to the season opener against Wake Forest on September 4.
Whitehurst completed touchdown passes of 42 and 62 yards to senior receiver Airese Currie, who had four reception for 105 yards
on the day. Chansi Stuckey had five catches for 59 yards, including
a 22-yard scoring reception.
The rushers were led by Reggie Merriweather, who had eight carries for 44 yards. Kyle Browning had 5-24 and Yusef Kelly had 7-24. Kyle Browning scored a touchdown on a 20-yard run. Kelly also scored on a six-yard run during the scrimmage, then scored four touchdowns during the goal line portion of the workout at the end of the day. Steven Jackson had 3-31 rushing and Clifford Harrell had 3-26.
The defense was led by Anthony Waters who had seven tackles, including two for minus yardage. David Dunham added six tackles, a tackle for loss and a pass deflection, while Leroy Hill added five tackles, including a tackle for loss and Nick Watkins had five
tackles. Charles Bennett had another solid scrimmage with three
tackles, and a tackle for loss of nine yards. Eric Coleman had the only sack of the scrimmage.
Defensive back Sergio Gilliam had the only interception of the day, a theft he returned 10 yards. That was the only turnover by the Clemson offense in the 75 plays run during the regular (non-goal
line) part of the scrimmage.
The kicking game was also strong as kickers Mark Buchholz, Jad Dean
and Stephen Furr all converted field goals. Dean and Furr both
missed from 55 yards out, but both boots were long enough, but just a couple of yards off line.
The best news of the day was that there were no new injuries.
Brandon Pilgrim, an offensive lineman who has missed some practice with a pulled groin muscle, was back in action. Starting cornerback Tye Hill missed the scrimmage with a turf toe, but he is expected back at practice early next week. Starting offensive guard Chip Myrick, who has missed the last 10 practices with mononucleosis, was also held out of the scrimmage. Mo Fountain and Cedric Johnson, who both missed time last week due to injury, both played in the scrimmage on Saturday.
"Charlie played well today, but he has played well all fall,"
said Bowden. "His stats from previous scrimmages did not bother me because we were trying some things on defense and didn't put him in
normal (high percentage) situations. Airese Currie and Chansi
Stuckey made big plays and Kyle Browning is a player who continues to improve. He deserves to be in the mix at running back.
"On defense, Leroy Hill stood out to me today. When he is not in the game, that is when the offense moves the ball much better.
Charles Bennett continues to improve and make plays.
"I was pleased with the kicking game today. Both punters
(Cole Chason and Chris Wiksell) showed some consistency today. Cole has a little edge there. All three placekickers did a good job.
"The defense started off strong, then gave up some big plays.
If we are going to be a strong team in the ACC, the defense has to play better than what it showed overall. We have to create more turnovers, there was just one by the offense all day"