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Clemson Holds First Spring Scrimmage

April 2, 2005

Clemson, SC – Clemson’s defense dominated a two-and-a-half hour scrimmage at Memorial Stadium Saturday morning. Tramaine Billie, Charles Bennett and Gaines Adams combined for nine tackles for loss to lead the defense.

Clemson’s defense allowed just one touchdown in the scrimmage that was played in severe wind, gusts that reached 40 miles per hour much of the day. The weather had a baring on Clemson’s offense, which gained 211 yards passing and 77 yards rushing. Clemson’s defense had 23 tackles for loss.

“The defense was the better unit today,” said Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. “The defense ran to the ball very well and made plays. The offense was limited by the windy conditions, but it did self destruct at times with too many penalties. We jumped offsides too many times.

“I was impressed with Tramaine Billie has been making plays all spring and continued to do that today.”

Charles Bennett, starting defensive end, and second team linebacker Lionel Richardson, were the top tacklers on the day with eight stops apiece. Bennett had 2.5 tackles for loss, including 1.5 sacks. Billie had 3.5 tackles for loss among his five tackles. Adams had five tackles, but three were sacks.

Starting quarterback Charlie Whitehurst completed 9-17 passes for 81 yards. Second-team quarterback Will Proctor hit on 13 of 24 passes for 121 yards and was also the top rusher of the scrimmage with seven carries for 44 yards, including a 36-yard run that was the longest play of the day.

The top receiver was red-shirt freshman Andrew Diomande who had four catches for 46 yards. Reggie Merriweather also had four receptions for 14 yards, while LaDontae Harris had 3-50.

Jad Dean, Clemson’s starting placekicker last year, made field goals from 36, 44 and 35 yards, while Stephen Furr made field goals of 37, 33 and 25 yards.

Defensive end Olu Babalola, a four-year letterman with the Clemson basketball team who is attempting to play football for the Tigers, sat out the scrimmage with a sprained ankle, an ankle that gave him problems throughout the basketball season. Wide receiver Chris Jefferson also missed the scrimmage due to a knee injury.

Clemson will hold its second major scrimmage next Saturday. It will be closed to the public. The Clemson Spring Game will be held on Saturday, April 16 at 1:00 PM at Death Valley. Admission will be free.

Coleman Suspended Clemson second-team running back Tommy Bowden. “Duane Coleman has been suspended indefinitely,” said Bowden. “The suspension is the result of a violation of team rules that is not related to academics, drugs, or an arrest. His status with our program will be reevaluated at the end of the semester.”

Coleman was Clemson’s second leading rusher last year with 284 yards in 83 carries. He was Clemson’s leading rusher in 2003 when he had 615 yards in 133 carries and also had 34 receptions for 309 yards. He scored five touchdowns in 2003.