Monday was Clemson’s last practice in full pads before Saturday’s Orange & White Spring Game at Death Valley to wrap up spring drills. Head coach Dabo Swinney was thrilled with what he saw in the two-hour practice which consisted of about 50 plays from a situational scrimmage.
Swinney called it the best and most competitive practice of the spring despite changing things up and having the first-team offense and defense go against the second-team offense and defense.
“Hopefully, I will see a little bit more of what I saw today,” said Swinney as he looks ahead to Saturday’s Orange & White Game. “As we mixed them up today, I saw a few guys make some plays today. Again, twos-on-ones, but it did not look that way.”
According to Swinney, the second-team offense went right down the field and scored on the first-team defense, the only touchdown allowed in the mini-scrimmage. The second-team defense held its own as well, as it forced 3 three-and-outs against the first-team offense.
“That was very encouraging,” Swinney said. “So now, all of a sudden you are going to split it all up and you are going to have different guys beside each other. I just want to see guys continue to play with clean execution and demonstrate that they know what they are doing.”
The coaching staff will spilt their units up today so Saturday’s game is even across the board. Like Swinney has done since he took over as head coach in 2009, the spring game will be an actual game and not a scrimmage.
The Clemson coach likes to make the game as entertaining as he can to the fans in the stands at Death Valley and the people watching back at home on ESPN. Now he hopes to see his players function on Saturday like they did in Monday’s practice.
“(The players) pretty much have been with one group. There’s been a little mixing and matching,” Swinney said. “I just want to see them function though different guys are playing with a different set of groups.
“We want to see different combinations of our personnel and still, hopefully, be a clean execution on both sides.”
The Orange & White Spring Game is scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m.