Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was much happier on Wednesday after the Tigers wrapped up a two and a half hour scrimmage in Death Valley.
After back-to-back bad practices by the Clemson offense the last two days, Swinney reported the unit performed much better during a situational scrimmage the last half of Wednesday’s practice.
“They were much better. I thought they would respond,” he said. “We have a bunch of competitors on this team.”
Overall, on offense and defense, Swinney said they made too many mistakes. He said he spoke to the team prior to the practice about not losing to Clemson.
“And we did that too many times today on both sides with boneheaded mistakes,” he said.
However, there was a lot of good and there was a lot of bad in the situational scrimmage, but that is what the coaches wanted to get out of it. Because the offense was more competitive on Wednesday, it gives them a good tape to teach from.
“When we do the situational scrimmage, we get a lot of work … and we need the work on these situations, and when you do, you get exposed,” Swinney said. “You have to process and you have to think.
“It was good. We got better as a team today. We got a lot that we can teach from and grow from with this tape. There were a lot of good things.”
The negatives were simple things that Swinney feels can be corrected. There were times when both the offense and the defense jumped offside. Offensive players forgot plays when they were coming off the sideline. The defense also had 12 men on the field in a key situation that cost them.
“Just some sloppiness in those areas, but the competiveness of it, the effort, I thought the mental toughness was much better today,” Swinney said. “We will get better from this tape. There is no doubt about it because we have had a lot of situations come up.”
In the situational scrimmage, Clemson set up third-and-three and two-down territory situations. They had a lot of fourth downs and a couple of two-minute situations. They also worked on “milking the clock.”
“I thought the first-team offense and defense managed that really well,” he said. “I thought the second group was poor with just the operation and the command of what we were supposed to do. Then we finished with some last play of the game, one second on the clock, ball on the fifteen, ball’s on the five. So we are trying to create those types of things to get those guys to think and to teach them. From that standpoint, it was a very productive day.
“We are nowhere near the execution that we have to have or expect to be a great team, but we did make progress today.”
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