Aug. 20, 2003
Charlie Whitehurst completed 11-18 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown to lead the offense and roverback Gerald McCloud had two interceptions and a caused fumble to lead the defense in Clemson’s final stadium scrimmage of the preseason. The Tigers open the season August 30 against Georgia in Death Valley at 12:00 Noon.
Whitehurst led the offense on an 80-yard drive that covered 15 plays on the first possession of the nearly three-hour workout. The offense was helped by a pair of offside penalties that led to first downs that kept the drive alive. Whitehurst completed the drive with a 13-yard scoring pass to Airese Currie.
The offense scored a touchdown later in the scrimmage on a seven-yard run by Duane Coleman. The sophomore had 11 carries for 40 yards on the day. Reggie Merriweather was the top rusher with 11-44, but he did not score. Derrick Hamilton was the top receiver with six catches for 32 yards, while Kevin Youngblood had 2-33, including a 19-yarder in traffic that set up a score.
The Clemson defense scored a pair of touchdowns on the day. Freshman Sergio Gilliam of Greer High School had a 34-yard interception return for a score, while graduate student DeJuan Polk scored on a fumble recovery. McCloud had his best day in the preseason with a pair of interceptions, two tackles for loss, a caused fumble and three total tackles.
The top tackler was senior linebacker John Leake with 10 tackles. Andre Waters had seven tackles, while LeRoy Hill had six. Gaines Adams was again in the opponent backfield often and had three tackles for loss, including a pair of sacks. Eric Coleman and Brian Carr also had interceptions. There were six turnovers in the scrimmage, but just one by the first-team offense.
“This was a ragged scrimmage,” said head coach Tommy Bowden. “We had too many penalities in key situations. The defense had five offside penalties in the first 25 plays. We would have lost to Georgia had we played today.”
Clemson’s focus is now to get ready for Georgia. “We worked on game preparation yesterday, and will be back to it starting Thursday. We have seven days left to get ready for the opener. We will get our legs back and practice three more days this week.
“The best part of today is it did not appear that we got anyone injured.”
There were no new injuries in the scrimmage. Backup quarterback Chansi Stuckey and backup center Dustin Fry missed the scrimmage with injuries suffered on Tuesday. Stuckey has a pulled muscle in his abdomen and Fry has a high ankle sprain. Roscoe Crosby did not take part in the scrimmage. He is not allowed to go full gear until the fifth practice under the NCAA rules that govern preseason practice.
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