April 7, 1999
CLEMSON, SC — The offense dominated the final practice prior to Saturday’s spring scrimmage according to Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden. It was an unusual occurrence as the defense has had the upper hand most of the spring.
Clemson returns 23 lettermen on defense, many with multiple years of experience and they have dominated the offense at times. The offense does not have a returning starter on the offensive line, the first time that has been the case at Clemson since 1943.
“The offense went up and down the field, it looked like the defense thought spring practice ended on Monday,” said Bowden, who will put his charges through the spring scrimmage in Death Valley on Saturday at 1:00 PM. “I was disappointed with the defense, but the offense did make some good plays.”
The three-hour practice ended with a 30-play scrimmage. Among the positives was the play of walk-on running back Tore White, a sophomore from Andrews, SC. White, who wore a jersey without a uniform number on it, was making his first appearance all spring with the running backs. He had been at cornerback the previous 13 practices. He did not come out for football team until this March.
White got some playing time due to injuries to the Clemson running backs. However, the numbers of able bodies in the backfield were up on Wednesday. Terry Witherspoon, who had been ruled out for the rest of the spring due to a sprained ankle on Monday, was back at practice at full speed on Wednesday.
Javis Austin, out the last 10 days while he had tests run for dizzy spells, was at practice in a green jersey doing conditioning and a few drills, but took no contact. He could play a few snaps in the spring game on Saturday. All the tests he has taken have been negative.
Will Merritt, who has worked at center and guard this spring, was back at practice in a green jersey and could see some time in the spring scrimmage on Saturday. He suffered a hip pointer in the scrimmage last Saturday.
Bowden now prepares his team for the spring finale. “We are excited about playing in Death Valley in front of a crowd on Saturday. We will sit down as a staff on Thursday and decide the format and what we will run. I am sure we will be somewhat limited in our approach on Saturday. Marshall will be scouting the game in preparation for our season opener in September.”
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