The Clemson Tigers completed their first full-contact scrimmage of the 2005 preseason on Saturday in Death Valley. Tommy Bowden’s club went through nearly a three hour workout on a very hot floor of Memorial Stadium. Saturday’s scrimmage was filled with highlights by both the offense and defense as some of the burning questions coming into the season are beginning to be answered.
Tiger quarterbacks Charlie Whitehurst and Will Proctor combined for 296 passing yards and four touchdowns. Whitehurst connected on 14 of 21 attempts for 140 yards and two scores, each hauled in by Chansi Stuckey. The junior wide receiver from Warner Robins, GA caught five passes for 52 yards on the day.
Reggie Merriweather was the leading rusher on Saturday for the Tigers, gaining 54 yards on nine carries, and breaking many tackles along the way. Merriweather also had a touchdown run on Saturday. Duane Coleman had two scoring runs, and finished the day with 15 yards on four carries.
Kelvin Grant led the receiving corps in terms of yardage with 78 on four catches and a touchdown. However, Grant suffered an injured shoulder on the touchdown grab, and while the full extent of the injury is not known at this point, it is possible that he could miss some practice time. Senior Curtis Baham had a solid scrimmage, catching four passes for 37 yards. Redshirt freshman Aaron Kelly also hauled in two passes for 31 yards.
Defensively, Nick Watkins and Anthony Waters each had seven tackles apiece. Watkins had two tackles for loss, and defensive lineman Rashaad Jackson had four tackles, including two behind the line.
Proctor led the second team offense against the second team defense all day, connecting on touchdown passes of 59 yards to freshman Tyler Grisham, and 14 yards to Grant. Proctor was 7-13 for 156 yards on the day, and combined with Whitehurst’s efficient 14-21 effort, the Clemson first and second string quarterbacks were 21-34 for 296 yards and four touchdowns.
The Clemson field goal unit had a productive day, as Jad Dean was 2-for-3, connecting from 45 and 52 yards, while missing a 57-yarder that had the distance, but missed to the left. Stephen Furr was 1-for-2, drilling a 40-yarder and missing a 47-yarder.
Bowden commented on the effort of his team after nine consecutive days of practice, "We went into the scrimmage with some set plays in certain situations that we wanted to see on film," said Bowden. "I thought we threw and caught the ball well. We gave up some sacks that weren't called and that hurt the defense some. I thought the backs ran hard. Defensively I didn't think we tackled very well. We need to improve in that area."
The Tigers have Sunday off from practice for Fan Appreciation Day from 3-5 PM in Death Valley.