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Clemson Football Holds Scrimmage in Death Valley

March 31, 2001

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson’s offense produced 296 yards passing and 219 yards rushing in 117 plays to highlight play in a two-hour scrimmage in Death Valley on Saturday. The Tigers have three practices left in the spring practice period, including next Saturday’s Orange & White scrimmage at Death Valley at 3:00 PM. Admission to that event will be free.

A highlight of Saturday’s scrimmage was the placekicking. Aaron Hunt made 3-4 field goals and was perfect on six extra points, while Tony Lazzara was 2-2 on field goals.

Clemson quarterbacks were 24-53 for 296 yards and two touchdowns, while the running backs gained 219 yards in 64 attempts. The offense scored six touchdowns, but many of the drives were from medium distances, as Tommy Bowden had his offense start from various areas on the field in the situational scrimmage.

The offense got off to a great start. Sophomore quarterback Willie Simmons connected with wide receiver Kevin Youngblood on a 62-yard catch and run on the second play of the day. Simmons connected on 12-30 passes for 172 yards and two scores while running the number-one offense. Youngblood led the receivers with 5-99 and the one touchdown.

Three quarterbacks worked for the Tigers. Matt Schell was 6-13 for 72 yards. He led the offense to two touchdown drives and three field goals. Freshman Brian Carr was 6-10 passing for 52 yards. Clemson starting quarterback Woodrow Dantzler did not dress for the scrimmage as he continues to rehabilitate after surgery to correct a lower leg injury. The offense was also without the services of Travis Zachery, who is recovering from a broken foot suffered in the Gator Bowl

In addition to Youngblood’s stats, the receivers also featured red-shirt freshman Derrick Hamilton, who had 5 catches for 58 yards, and Joel Gardner who had 3-18 receiving. Tight end Morgan Woodward caught a seven-yard touchdown pass from Simmons for the third score of the scrimmage.

The running backs ran well in the scrimmage. Keith Kelly was the top rusher with 12-67, while Bernard Rambert added 14-65. Rambert also caught a 33-yard pass from Simmons. Chad Jasmin had a strong day with 11-42 rushing and two receptions for 25 yards. Jasmin scored twice, while Kelly had one touchdown.

Safety Charles Hafley led the defense with 13 tackles, including nine first hits. Altroy Bodrick added 10 stops, while Rodney Thomas had eight. John Leake, who is seeing time at the safety position, had five tackles, including three tackles for loss and a sack. David Ellis and Donnell Washington also had sacks on the day. Ryan Hemby had the only interception on the day. Chad Carson had six tackles, including a tackle for a loss. Marcus Houskin had four tackles and three passes broken up in the secondary.

“I was hoping to see some strong play from the young offensive linemen and they played pretty well,” said Bowden. “We were missing four starters in the offensive line, but we still moved the ball. It looked like Greg Walker, William Henry, Cedric Johnson and Derrick Brantley did well.”

Starting guard Will Merritt was married on Saturday and missed the scrimmage. Starting offensive linemen Kyle Young and T.J. Watkins were in the wedding so they also missed Saturday’s scrimmage. Starting tackle Gary Byrd missed the scrimmage with a kneecap injury.

“The running backs also ran hard. I thought Keith Kelly, Bernard Rambert ran consistently. Terrance Huey looked good in his limited time also. I thought Willie (Simmons) had an average day throwing the ball. He has practiced much better than he worked in this scrimmage.

“I am looking for more consistency on defense. They looked a little heavy-legged today, but we worked them very hard in Friday’s practice. I am still looking for leaders on both sides of the ball.

“The kicking game is improving. I want to get to the point where I am surprised when Aaron Hunt misses. He is becoming more consistent. Wynn Kopp is our starting punter. He is doing a good job in that area, but we actually have some depth there.”

Statistical Review

Passing (Comp-att-yds-TD-int): Simmons 12-30-172-2-0, Schell 6-13-72-0-0, Carr 6-10-52-0-1

Rushing (Att-Yds-TD): Kelly 12-67-1, Rambert 14-65, Jasmin 11-42-2, Sherman 7-29, White 3-10, Simmons 7-12, Huey 1-18, Carr 5- (-1), Schell 2-(-6), Robinson 1-(-4)

Receiving (Rec-Yds-TD): Youngblood 5-99-1, Hamilton 5-58, Gardner 3-18, Huey 2-20, Jasmin 2-25, Woodward 1-7-1, Reames 1-4, McKelvey 1-9, Robinson 1-7, Rambert 1-33, Elliot 2-20

Tackles: Hafley 13, Bodrick 10, Thomas 8, Carson 6, Leake 5, Ellis 5, Francis 5, Houskin 4, Meekins 4