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Monday, April 6, 2009
Weekend rewind: Scrimmage updates

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich

There was plenty of football going on this Saturday, but only one spring game -- Florida State -- so we'll take care of the Noles in a separate post. Here's a quick recap of the other scrimmages, according to information provided by each school's respective sports information director.

BOSTON COLLEGE

In the Eagles' first spring scrimmage, redshirt sophomore quarterback Dominique Davis started and completed 9 of 22 passes for 64 yards with three interceptions. Redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Tuggle completed 9 of 11 passes for 87 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Sophomore quarterback Codi Boek also played several series, completing 7 of 14 passes for 61 yards. Redshirt freshman Alexander Atiyeh completed a pass for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Redshirt freshman Clyde Lee led all receivers with four catches for 59 yards. Junior Ryan Lindsey had three catches for 52 yards, along with a 26-yard touchdown. Junior tight end Jordon McMichael caught Tuggle's 5-yard touchdown, which ended the scrimmage.

Senior running back Jeff Smith led all Eagles in rushing, carrying the ball 13 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore Montel Harris had 12 carries for 33 yards, while sophomore Josh Haden had 12 carries for 32 yards.

"I saw some good things," coach Frank Spaziani said. "The offense is getting better, learning some things and executing. We're making progress, but it's still very early."

The defense looked strong early, as senior Mark Herzlich intercepted Davis and returned the ball 43 yards for a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Will Thompson made six tackles. Redshirt freshman Nick Clancy was in the right place at the right time totaling four tackles and two interceptions. Junior cornerback DeLeon Gause returned a fumble 42 yards for a touchdown, while also intercepting a pass. Sophomore defensive tackle Kaleb Ramsey recorded two sacks on the day.

CLEMSON

The defense had 13 sacks -- three of which came from defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who also had four tackles -- but don't get too impressed by that stat. It's the one-hand touch rule on quarterbacks, so many of them wouldn't have counted.

"I thought it was a great scrimmage," said coach Dabo Swinney. "I saw great competition and solid performances on both sides of the ball. The wide receivers had their best day of the spring. Brandon Ford had two touchdowns [including goal-line drill] and has really made progress this week. The quarterbacks did well. People better not count out Michael Wade, he had an outstanding day.

"On defense I thought Da'Quan Bowers was outstanding. The defense had a very good day in general.

"We did have some mistakes that were critical, a fumble on the goal line, an offside penalty by the defense that negated a big play that allowed a first down. But, overall I was pleased.

"The kickers also did very well today. Spencer Benton was 7-for-7 on field goals, including a 50-yarder and Richard Jackson had an outstanding day as well."

Jackson made two field goals from 49 yards during the scrimmage.

Wade had the best stats of the quarterbacks as he completed 9-of-12 for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Willy Korn was 8-16 for 96 yards and added a 3-yard scoring pass to Ford in the goal-line drill portion of the scrimmage. Kyle Parker completed 7-of-14 for 87 yards and a touchdown on a 10-yard pass to Terrence Ashe, who made a nice catch in the back of the end zone.

Parker hit a home run for the Clemson baseball team against Duke on Friday night, then was back in Death Valley Saturday morning. He will be back in the starting lineup against Duke on Saturday night.

"We came out today to work on our passing game," said Swinney. "We have had some tough weather this spring so today was the best day we have had to work on pitching and catching. I was pleased with what I saw."

Ford had three catches for 97 yards, including a 60-yard score from Wade, in the regular scrimmage, then added a touchdown catch from Korn in the goal-line portion. Jaron Brown had three catches for 68 yards, including a 26-yard reception from Wade. Ashe had three catches for 20 yards, including the 10-yard score from Parker. Xavier Dye added two catches for 40 yards receiving, and Brandon Clear had a 30-yard catch as well.

Rendrick Taylor was the top rusher with eight carries for 31 yards, while Andre Ellington had eight for 27. There were no rushing touchdowns in the scrimmage until the goal-line drill. Ellington and Jamie Harper both had two touchdowns in the goal-line drill.

C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford both missed the scrimmage as they compete this weekend for the Clemson track team in the Florida Relays.

Bowers, who was Clemson's top player in the Gator Bowl against Nebraska, had three sacks, a caused fumble, four total tackles for loss and six overall tackles. Brandon Clear had two sacks.

Kavell Conner, Clemson's top tackler last year, had six tackles, as did Jeremy Campbell and Bowers, to lead the defense. Sophomore Coty Sensabaugh had a 53-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Safety Sadat Chambers had the only interception of the scrimmage.

MARYLAND

Maryland won't hold its first scrimmage until next week, but the Terps geared up for that by spending about an hour of Saturday's workout in a scrimmage-type setting.

After spending roughly an hour on individual and team work, the first and second team offenses and defenses faced off for a mock scrimmage of eight possessions with each beginning at the 35-yard line.

The offense had scoring opportunities on two of its first five possessions, but the defense ended one drive with an interception and forced two three-and-outs.

Da'Rel Scott keyed the lone touchdown drive in his limited time. With the No. 1 offense and defense squaring off on the second drive, the junior carried four times for 56 yards to move the ball into the red zone.

After Chris Turner hit Tommy Galt on third-and-5 to keep the drive alive, Haroon Brown scored on a 4-yard
run.

The offense moved the ball on the ensuing possession, but Jamari McCollough thwarted the scoring chance, picking off Jamarr Robinson's pass at the 4 and returning it 50 yards.

Two possessions later, the offense had a field goal attempt set up by a 26-yard completion from Anthony Green to Matt Furstenburg.

Aided by a stiff wind, Mike Barbour's 50-yard kick had plenty of distance, but sailed just wide right.

Safeties Terrell Skinnner and Antwine Perez were the leading tacklers, posting four stops apiece. Skinner and Perez were also in the backfield quite a bit, combining for 2.5 tackles for loss. Skinner also had a forced fumble.

McCollough also had three solo stops in addition to his interception. The defense had four sacks, including two on the final possession.

"Defensively, we got better as the scrimmage went on," coach Ralph Friedgen said. "We got better at tackling, better pursuit to the ball and we [forced] some turnovers, which is good to see from a defensive standpoint but not from an offensive standpoint."

Turner completed six of his seven passes, but managed only 12 yards. Robinson went 3-for-5 for 37 yards and Green, a defensive back serving as the No. 3 signal-caller this spring, hit all three of his attempts for 33 yards.

Scott, who played on just one possession, was the leading ground gainer with 56 yards on four carries. No receiver had more than two catches, with Furstenburg leading the way, hauling in a pair for 41 yards.

"There were a lot of positives," Friedgen said of Saturday's practice. "We just need to keep on working at trying to get better. I think our attitude is very good, I think they're enjoying themselves and I think they're working hard. As long as we have that and we keep trying to get better every day, one day we're going to be a good football team."