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Evans reminds Swinney of Boyd

swinney-from-usc-game

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney says he sees a lot of Tajh Boyd in Virginia Tech quarterback Jerod Evans.

Swinney says it his size and thickness that reminds him of Boyd, and also the way the Hokies use him in their power spread offense.

“They will run him between the tackles. He will do the zone-read stuff, but they are running quarterback power a lot, quarterback counter, jet motion power and he is reading that stuff,” Swinney said. “He is giving it or he is pulling it and he is running the power. They are splitting your defense and guards are pulling around. They do an excellent job with that.”

Evans has rushed for 713 yards and eight touchdowns to lead the Hokies in both areas.

“That is just what they do, and then the play action off of it, which forces you … if you get too aggressive then all of sudden that guy that has been coming out and blocking you, he gets behind you and he pulls it up and they are throwing over the top.”

When they do throw over the top, it is usually for big gains and touchdowns. Evans has a school record 3,039 passing yards to go along with another record 26 touchdown passes. He has thrown just five interceptions and has completed 63.8 percent of his passes.

“They know what they are doing. They have a good plan,” Swinney said. “He is similar to Tajh as far as his running ability. They are very similar.”

Injury report. Swinney said defensive end Richard Yeargin (knee) and defensive tackle Scott Pagano (leg) will both be out for Saturday’s ACC Championship game against Virginia Tech. Yeargin was listed as questionable at the beginning of the week.

Freshman offensive guard John Simpson (leg) is still listed as questionable, but he will dress and will be with the team.

“He has done well. He has done really well,” Swinney said.

Scott will return punts. Swinney said wide receiver Artavis Scott will start at punt return this week. Scott, a junior, had a 28-yard punt return in the Tigers’ win over South Carolina. He is averaging 11.3 yards per return.

Ray Ray McCloud, who had a 74-yard return earlier this year, was suspended for the first quarter against the Gamecocks for a minor team violation, but he has also struggled and has muffed several punts this year, including one at Wake Forest on Nov. 19.

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