Tiger Source confirmed early Saturday morning that freshman running back James Davis had returned to the team. Davis participated in the scrimmage and had one of his best days of the fall.
Davis led all rushers with 69 yards rushing on 15 attempts. Davis has carried the ball more than any other back in each scrimmage. Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden had hinted on Thursday, he would welcome the chance to use Davis’ fresh legs. Davis was not available to the media following the scrimmage, but he released a statement through Clemson SID Tim Bourret.
"I was glad to be back. It felt great to be with the team today. I missed the last two days for personal reasons. I look forward to working hard in practice and contributing to this team," said Davis.
The Tigers combined to rush for 220 yards on 51 attempts. Reggie Merriweather was the second leading rusher with 44 yards on 10 attempts.
Fellow freshman Rendrick Taylor had a better scrimmage today, as he caught 4 passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Wide receivers coach Dabo Swinney had high praises for the freshman following the scrimmage.
“Rendrick probably had his worst practice last Saturday. First time in the stadium, then he came out and had his best practice today. He had a big touchdown catch, and then another great catch on the goalline. He has played three different positions, so that tells you a little bit about the mental capacity he has,” said Swinney.
The defense improved on Saturday, but it is still not where Coach Bowden would like it to be. Senior defensive end Charles Bennett did miss the second half of the scrimmage due to the heat.
“Defensively we have to get a better pass rush from our front four linemen. We have to improve in that area. But, the tackling was improved from what I saw last Saturday,” said Bowden.
Overall, Coach Bowden seemed pleased with progress on both sides of the ball through Saturday’s scrimmage.
"There were positives on either side of the ball," said Coach Bowden. "We didn't lose a turnover for the second straight scrimmage and that was a plus. We came close to a couple of turnovers on defense and we obviously need to create turnovers. We were last in the nation in turnover margin when we were 1-4 last year so that is an area we are stressing on both sides of the ball in practice.”
The Tigers will take Sunday off, then return for two sessions on Monday. They will hold the third and final full scrimmage Tuesday night. Clemson will begin preparations for Texas A&M on Thursday.