Clemson Scrimmage Report - 4/8
Stoudt, Kelly get showcase
CLEMSON – In the spring’s first scrimmage, the “night and day” improvement of the Clemson defense starred per coach Dabo Swinney.
In scrimmage No. 2 and the last major tuneup before the spring game, the trend continued – Swinney going as far as saying it was a “dominant performance.”
“That was just a butt-kicking,” Swinney said. “It really was. Wish I could paint a more balanced picture but it was. Defensively, it was pretty dominant, which to be honest with you – is good.”
Rising junior defensive end Vic Beasley tallied four sacks and junior defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, three, and in the linebacker corps, both competitors for the weakside spot, Spencer Shuey and Kellen Jones, grabbed five tackles.
As a unit, the defense had 14 sacks and 18 tackles for loss with seven pass breakups, a fumble recovery (Jadar Johnson) and an interception ( Garry Peters).
Beasley says the effort stemmed from their mentality in preparation.
“We talked in the locker room that we wanted to come out here and dominate,” he said. “I think it’s really just a mind thing.
“We really wanted to accomplish something, and we came out with the right mindset and got it done today.”
A showcase for the backup quarterback competition was, in part, spoiled by the defense’s play.
Senior signal-caller Tajh Boyd, in a planned move, only took four snaps to give junior Cole Stoudt and redshirt freshman Chad Kelly the game-action in Clemson Memorial Stadium Monday.
Stoudt hit on 10-of-18 pass attempts for 81 yards with a touchdown and interception each, while Kelly completed 7-of-15 for 78 yards and a score.
Overall, their coach didn’t see command of the offense, or really much from the unit as a whole, that the Tigers will need this fall.
“(They were) just okay,” said Swinney. “Didn’t really see the leadership you’d like to see on offense. Didn’t really see anybody step on the offensive line. Really anywhere. Just kind of looked like they were going through the motions.”
He says it would be different if the scrimmage-scenario was due to injury, but instead, the same focus the defense had wasn’t there.
“They knew exactly how we were going to go through the scrimmage,” Swinney said. “You’d like to see just the opposite. You’d like to see guys spark and say, “I’ve got the opportunity to run the show.’ It’s not the just quarterbacks. It’s everybody.
“Just didn’t see that spark.”
Overall though, Swinney was more focused on the positives of the day.
“I know our offense is going to be outstanding,” he said. “I don’t have any doubts about that. To see the defense go out and perform consistently, and not just perform consistently throughout the whole day – three different groups were equally impressive.”
“…I was just really, really pleased with our defense and in particular, our defensive line.”
Tight ends were the main pass-catchers – redshirt sophomore Stanton Seckinger bringing in four catches for 42 yards, and early enrollee Jordan Leggett continued an impressive first couple months on campus, hauling in four for 56 yards.
“He’s had a solid spring,” Swinney said. “I’m very encouraged with him. He was one guy who I was surprised picked things up as quick as he has. He’s a good player.”
In terms of scoring, junior receiver Charone Peake made a move on a Kelly screen pass and dashed 49 yards for one touchdown. Junior tailback D.J. Howard punched in two scores on 39 yards rushing.