Maybe there was a good reason why the Clemson offense owned Saturday’s scrimmage in Death Valley? Defensive end Clelin Ferrell said a lot of the older players on defense did not play as much as they had the previous two scrimmages so the younger players could get some extra reps.
Whatever the reason, the end result was not good for the defense as the offense had several big plays in Saturday’s scrimmage, including an 80-yard touchdown run by running back Tavien Feaster and big completions to wide receivers Tee Higgins and T.J. Chase. Quarterback Kelly Bryant threw a 28-yard pass to Higgins and a 40-yarder to Chase in the three-hour scrimmage.
Zerrick Cooper threw a pair of touchdown passes, one to Trevion Thompson and one Higgins, while Hunter Johnson had a scoring pass to Chase. Even freshman quarterback Chase Brice got in the act with a 31-yard completion to fellow freshman Will Swinney.
Besides’ Feaster’s 105 yards on the ground, Higgins finished the day with five receptions for 76 yards, while Chase had four for 79 to lead the receivers.
“My overall take from the scrimmage was it was not a very good day for the defense,” Ferrell said.
Ferrell says the defense discovered on Saturday they are not as good as they thought they were and they have some work to get done prior to their Sept. 2 opener against Kent State in Death Valley.
“I feel like a lot of guys have been listening to the media a little too much,” the sophomore said. “You are going to have that problem when you have a lot of talent, but we just have to get back and focus on the inner core of the defense and realize we are not as good as we think we are.
“We have a lot of talent, but we have to get back to working really hard. You have to work hard to be number one.”
Ferrell also wanted to make sure he gave the offense credit for playing a good scrimmage. He said they are competitors and they came out fighting in the final stadium scrimmage of fall camp. He said the defense, including himself, did not give them enough respect coming into the scrimmage.
“Those guys are competitors,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons why the defense, including myself, did not really realize that. They are going to come out every day. They are trying to beat us every day like we are trying to beat them.
“We kind of got complacent with that and we got exposed. No one was surprised to see the offense come out and have the success that they did.”
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