Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Training camp Day 8: Defense dominates scrimmage

Clemson held a 112-play scrimmage Tuesday in Death Valley, and the defensive unit had the best of it. The relevant numbers: 11 sacks, two interceptions (including one returned 44 yards for a touchdown by Justin Miller), 14-of-23 passing by Charlie Whitehurst, and zero turnovers by the running backs or receivers (there was one bumbled snap from center). Additionally, Miller returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown. (Good for Miller, bad for our kickoff coverage, which gave up five kick-return touchdowns last season.) Aaron Hunt was 3-of-4 on field goals, including a surprisingly long 49-yarder.

J.J. IS DY-NO-MITE: Defensive end J.J. Howard continues to have a dominating preseason. He had two sacks and three tackles for loss in Tuesday's scrimmage.

"He's bringing speed and power," Clemson senior offensive tackle Gregory Walker said. "Just the total package. It's the most difficult thing to block. He's the kind of defensive end we're doing to see in the ACC. He's really giving us a good look."

PLAYING THROUGH THE PAIN: The State profiles defensive back Toure Francis, who is coming back from a knee injury suffered in last season's opening game against Georgia that forced him to miss the rest of the season.

MORE QUESTIONS: The State's Ken Tysiac, who covers Clemson football, has answered more questions from fans. Give them a look.

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