Scott was all smiles as Tigers record 13 explosive plays in opening scrimmage
Jeff Scott was smiling from ear-to-ear when he spoke to the media following Clemson’s 106-play scrimmage at Death Valley in Clemson on Saturday.
He had every reason to be smiling. His offense dominated what is considered one of the best defenses in the country right from the start as quarterback Kelly Bryant led the unit on a 70-yard touchdown drive, capped with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Amari Rodgers.
“It was a good day,” Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator said. “We got off to a fast start. We always talk about if we can get off to a fast start that really helps us the rest of the day. I felt like our tempo was much better. I felt like our guys did a good job of keeping pressure on the defense.”
In all, Clemson had 13 explosive plays. Nine came through the air, while four came on the ground. Freshman receiver Justyn Ross and sophomore Tee Higgins, along with Rodgers, made the majority of the big plays in the passing game, while freshman running back Lyn-J Dixon had two explosive runs, including a 50-yard touchdown.
Sophomore Travis Etienne also had two long runs, one of which was a 45-yard touchdown. Bryant finished the scrimmage with two touchdowns passes as did backup quarterback Chase Brice. Freshman Trevor Lawrence also had some big-time throws, according to Scott.
The biggest news about the quarterbacks is that they did not throw an interception and the offensive line allowed just one sack all day.
“All three of those guys were very consistent,” Scott said. “I’m very pleased. I think we only had one sack on the day so I’m pleased with the guys up front in the pass protection.”
Wide receiver Diondre Overton made a touchdown catch, while T.J. Chase also made a couple of big plays for the offense.
“Overall, I was pleased,” Scott said. “I think the biggest negative was our short yardage. We got a few reps down near the goal line and we really did not get an opportunity to finish the right way. So, that is something we will obviously go in and look at and correct.
“I’m really pleased with where we are right now. We are not where we need to be for three weeks from now, but we have a couple of more (scrimmages) to get there, but as far as the first fall scrimmage, it is probably one of the better ones that I have been a part of.”
Clemson will take the day off from practice today for Fan Appreciation Day, which begins at 2:30 p.m. The Tigers resume practice on Monday as they continue to get ready for the season-opener versus Furman on Sept. 1 at Death Valley.