By Staff Report.
Clemson, SC—Tajh Boyd threw two touchdown passes to pace the offense and Corico Hawkins had eight tackles to lead the defense during a two-hour scrimmage for the Clemson football team in Memorial Stadium on Saturday. It was the final stadium scrimmage prior to next Saturday’s Orange & White Game. That contest will kickoff at 4:00 PM on April 9 at Memorial Stadium.
“It was a very competitive scrimmage,” said Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney. “It was our best day of the spring. I saw positives on both sides. The offense did well in terms of running the ball, but the defense only gave up one touchdown when the offense had to go more than 25 yards. The kicking game was improved also.
“Tajh Boyd has continued to improve, and the game is slowing down for him. He has a bit of false security when wearing the purple jersey (quarterbacks are not tackled), and I need to break him of that, but he is improving. He made some very good decisions today.
“Overall the tempo on offense was good. We are improving in that area.
“The defense really competed today. Corey Crawford had an 87-yard fumble return, and caused and recovered another fumble. He really played well.”
Crawford’s playing time increased this week when Andre Branch returned to his home to be with his family after the death of his grandfather.
Hawkins led the defense with eight tackles, while Rashard Hall added seven. Tig Willard had six tackles, a pass broken up and an interception. Josh Watson had two tackles for loss, while Crawford had a tackle for loss and a pass deflection to go with his two fumble recoveries. Justin Parker had five tackles, including a sack.
Boyd completed 8-16 passes for 129 yards and two scores. He completed a 20-yard scoring pass to DeAndre Hopkins, a pass that culminated a seven play, 65-yard scoring rive. He also completed a three-yard touchdown pass to red-shirt freshman tight end Sam Cooper in a goal line situation. Boyd also had 10 rushes for 14 yards.
The top receiver in terms of catches was senior Marquan Jones, who had four catches for 44 yards. Jaron Brown had two rushes for 26 yards, a 30-yard reception and a 20-yard punt return. Hopkins finished with two catches for 43 yards.
The ground game was strong as D.J. Howard (19-85), Demont Buice (13-59), Rod McDowell (8-36) and Brown (2-26) combined for 206 yards in 42 attempts.
Chandler Catanzaro had a strong day kicking as he connected on four of five field goals, including a 40-yarder at the end of a two-minute drill that culminated a simulated game winning drive situation.