Clemson’s football team had a quick practice Friday as it gets set for a half-scrimmage on Saturday.
“We have a quick turnaround tonight, so early in the morning we are going to have a little half-scrimmage tomorrow,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “It will be the first time that it will not be situational type stuff, but really let them play.”
The Tigers are hoping to scrimmage at Death Valley, but with rain showers forecasted for Saturday morning, they likely will stay inside and scrimmage at the Poe Indoor Practice Facility.
“We have been outside one day (this spring),” Swinney said. “It has rained twice this winter. Once for twenty days and once for fifteen. I mean it is unbelievable. It has been a mess. But we are so lucky to be able to keep coming in here and keep getting the type of work we keep getting.”
Saturday will be Day 8 of the spring for Clemson, more than the halfway point in their spring drills.
“We have a long way to go, but I love the energy,” Swinney said. “That is the biggest thing to me is just getting them to come out here with purpose and energy every day and enthusiasm to get better. And we are getting better. Every two good plays, we have three bad ones, but they are making really good progress because we have a bunch of guys that are not afraid to fail. They are not out here being tentative. They are bringing the energy and the effort that we need.
“What great ingredients. We just have to put it altogether.”
The number one thing Swinney wants to see from his team in Saturday’s scrimmage is how they are going to react because everything they have seen to this point has been either practice oriented, installation, competitive work and scripted situational work.
“You are trying to build a good foundation for these guys, so now who can go put it altogether,” Swinney said. “First down, second down, third down, second-and-long, second-and-short, third-and-long, third-and-short. Field position, two minutes … we will get into that a little tomorrow, too. Short yardage … and just put it together.
“Again, as apposed to having a first-down competitive deal … a first-down play, second down or second-down play or third down. We are going to put the ball down and if you get three-and-out, you are out, just like a game. So, we are going to create a game situation for them for about forty percent of the practice and see just how they respond.”
Injury report. Swinney said cornerback Kyler McMichael (hamstring) will likely return to practice on Monday. The hope, according to Clemson’s head coach, is for the sophomore to practice on Monday so he can play in the Tigers’ first full scrimmage on Wednesday.
Fellow sophomore defensive back Mario Goodrich is also banged up. He was wearing a boot as he was leaving the practice field on Friday. Swinney is hopeful the cornerback will be available to practice on Monday.
Time set for spring game. ESPN announced Friday it will air Clemson’s Spring Game on ESPN2 at 2:30 p.m., on April 6.
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