Typically, early on in fall camp, the defense is ahead of the offense.
However, on Saturday, as Clemson scrimmaged for the first time in fall camp inside of Memorial Stadium, it was the offense that won the day.
“Usually, this scrimmage is a day the defense owns the day,” head coach Dabo Swinney said after the scrimmage. “That’s kind of been my history. That’s probably the way it’s been. That wasn’t the case today. Honestly, I kind of saw that coming. It was very competitive.”
The Clemson defense is expected to be one of the best in the country, but Swinney noted there was a lot that occurred on Saturday morning that they will be able to learn from, including RB Will Shipley turning a 4th and 1 into a 40-yard touchdown run.
“A lot on tape we can teach from and get better from,” Swinney said. “We aren’t ready to play today but I really think we’re headed in the right direction. There were a lot of positive things I feel really good about what I’m seeing in a lot of areas. This is a group that will compete.”
Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei helped lead the way on offense, as did freshman Cade Klubnik.
“I am proud of DJ,” Swinney said. “He made two or three big plays with his legs today. The same thing with Cade. I think Cade ended up with two touchdowns in the goal line, red-zone area. So, it was good to see the quarterbacks making plays with their legs, both running it and extending plays.”
“We made some big plays in the passing game. I was really pleased with DJ. He had one mistake and Cade had one critical mistake.”
The players around the quarterbacks played well also, including the offensive line, with Swinney noting how much of a difference that can make when it comes to quarterback play.
“Those first seven or eight offensive linemen have a lot of good chemistry,” Swinney said. “Those backs, our tight ends, the receivers are making plays and all of that; what does all of that do? Everything around the quarterback, what does that do? Does that make the quarterback better or worse? Exactly. When all of that isn’t good, does it make the quarterback better or worse? Worse? Exactly. This is not rocket science.”
“It affects their confidence and all of those things. Then, you know, the quarterback starts trying to do too much because the quarterback is getting all the blame. They get all the credit too.”
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