Short-yardage and two-minute situational drills were the emphasis of Clemson's 11th spring practice session on Friday, and coach Dabo Swinney was pleased by what he saw.
"We had a half-practice and then a little half-scrimmage at the end," said Swinney, whose Tigers will wrap up spring practice with the Orange-White Game a week from Saturday. "We worked two-minute today, which was something we hadn't done all spring. The first group had to score a touchdown to win it, and they went down and got a score and made a couple of big plays.
"I thought the guys responded from the first scrimmage to this scrimmage. I saw improvement from the last time we went live, and that's what I was hoping to see."
"We're getting better - we're taking steps progressively every day," said quarterback Tajh Boyd. "Little by little, it's all coming together."
Boyd said the defense had the upper hand early during the scrimmage portion of the practice, but that the offense finished strong.
"There was a big emphasis on short yardage today," Boyd said. "We started off not doing as well as we wanted, but we just continued to play and definitely finished well."
Swinney said the Tigers spent much of the practice working on what he called a 'W Drill' - a variation of the Paw (or Oklahoma) Drill.
"The W Drill is something the coaches brought back from Arizona State, and it's something I really like," Swinney said. "It gets everybody involved. When we do the Paw Drill, it's just point-of-attack - trying to beat blocks, move the line of scrimmage, and toughness with the backs.
"With the W Drill, we've still got point-of-attack, but also you have the tight end or a guard climbing to a backer in space, and then a receiver blocking a DB. It's fast, and it involves everybody. I think it's something that's helping us."
The Tigers will break for the weekend, and then come back with a full, game-style scrimmage on Monday.
"We'll get everybody off the field - no coaches out there yelling 'odd, odd, even, even' and 'left, left, right, right,'" Swinney said. "We'll put 'em out there and expose them a little bit."
Boyd said the scrimmage will be a test of the Tigers' ability to perform in a game-type setting.
"I think we all know what we're capable of doing," Boyd said. "But 'capable' doesn't win games. We have to go out and perform - every day."