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Tigers Work on Corrections After Saturday’s Scrimmage

Aug. 23, 1999

Clemson, SC – The Clemson football team reviewed the film of last Saturday’s scrimmage and worked on corrections during a two-and-a-half hour practice on Monday. The Tigers are less than two weeks away from the season opener with Marshall, a 6:00 PM contest at Death Valley.

A couple of players who sat out the scrimmage were back in practice, including senior defensive tackle Damonte McKenzie and defensive end Gary Childress. Both are slated to be starters this year and were missed in the scrimmage, as the offense scored seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Jackie Robinson also returned to practice in a limited capacity, as did Freddie James.

Rod Gardner, a starter at wide receiver, missed the practice due to a knee injury he suffered in the scrimmage. The injury is not serious. T.J. Watkins continued to miss practice due to a high ankle sprain that will keep him out until at least Monday. Tailback Shawn Crawford also missed the practice, but is due back at the end of the week.

Watkins injury, combined with a subpar performance by John McDermott at tackle, caused some shakeup in the offensive line on Monday. “We were not pleased with John McDermott’s performance in the scrimmage on Saturday,” said Head Coach Tommy Bowden.

“He has had freshmen behind him and has not been pushed. We could move Akil Smith back to tackle and put Will Merritt and Theo Mougros at the starting guard positions with Kyle Young at center. That would leave Neely Page at the other tackle, or Watkins when he is healthy. We aren’t sure yet. Neely had a good scrimmage on Saturday.”

Bowden did not change his opinion of the scrimmage after viewing the film. “We made a lot of big plays on offense and that was good to see because this is a playmakers offense. Defensively we did not have the enthusiasm on defense. We can be a good team if the defense plays hard.”

The Tigers will continue their practice Tuesday with a possible scrimmage scheduled for Wednesday. Any future scrimmage will be closed to the public and the media.