Clemson QB's will be tackled during Spring Game
Clemson, S.C.— Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney said after Thursday’s practice that quarterbacks would be tackled during Saturday’s Orange & White Spring Football game at Memorial Stadium. The contest will be the 15th and final practice of the 2017 spring practice season for the Tigers.
Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. at Clemson’s Memorial Stadium. Admission is free.
This will be the third practice this spring in which Swinney has allowed the defense to bring the quarterbacks to the ground. It is believed that the last time quarterbacks were “live” during the Spring Game was 1992 when the Tigers ran an option offense under Ken Hatfield. Louis Solomon had 18 carries for 68 yards in that game and only two sacks were recorded in the contest.
There is a strong competition to replace All-American signal caller Deshaun Watson, who graduated after leading Clemson to a 32-3 record over the last three years, including a 28-2 mark the last two years.
Swinney has divided his team evenly for Saturday’s game. The game will be made up of four quarters, the first two with a normal clock. The second half will feature a running clock.
At halftime there will be a special ceremony on the field in which the seniors off the 2016 team will receive their National Championship rings. The underclassmen received their rings on Wednesday evening during a special ceremony at the new Reeves Football Complex.
Swinney said after practice that tight end/fullback Garrett Williams would not play in the game due to a knee injury. He will have surgery next week to determine the extent of the injury. Cornerback Mark Fields will also miss the spring game due to an injury. Starting linebacker Dorian O’Daniel and Kendall Joseph are also recovering from injuries and would be questionable at this point.
No. 1 quarterback Kelly Bryant practiced on Thursday, but is nursing a hamstring injury that he suffered during Wednesday’s half scrimmage on a 28-yard touchdown run.
Bryant is expected to quarterback the Orange Offense and will have receivers Hunter Renfrow and Ray-Ray McCloud at his disposal along with running back C.J. Fuller. The Orange Team defense will include Dexter Lawrence and Clelin Ferrell.
The White team will have Zerrick Cooper and Hunter Johnson as quarterbacks. Cooper completed 9-11 passes for 112 yards and two scores during a half scrimmage on Wednesday. Johnson was 8-12 passing in an earlier scrimmage. Deon Cain, who had four catches for 94 yards and two scores in the half scrimmage on Wednesday, will lead the White Team receivers, while the running backs include Adam Choice and Tarien Feaster.
The White Team defense is led by All-American Christian Wilkins and starting safety Van Smith.
The Orange & White Game will be preceded by the 10th annual Sons Bowl, a flag football game featuring former Clemson players. That contest begins at Noon.