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August 13, 2011

Clemson holds first scrimmage

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CLEMSON, S.C. -- Starting quarterback Tajh Boyd completed 10-12 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown to highlight offensive play in Clemson's 75-play scrimmage in Memorial Stadium on Saturday morning. The Tigers are preparing for the season opener on September 3 against Troy.

Clemson will have Sunday off, then will have two-a-day practices next Monday and Wednesday with single practices on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The team will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Day at Death Valley on Sunday, August 21 from 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM.

Boyd had arguably his best practice of the preseason as he completed each of his last eight passes to six different receivers. He threw a 44-yard scoring pass to top receiver DeAndre Hopkins, then connected on a three-yard score to Dwayne Allen in a goal line situation.

Allen had three receptions for 66 yards, including a diving catch over the middle for 14 yards and a first down. Brandon Ford had three receptions for 37 yards, including a five-yard touchdown pass from Cole Stoudt. The freshman QB was 4-14 passing, but threw for 71 yards and two touchdowns, one to Ford and one to Bryce McNeal (23 yards).

The top rusher was Rod McDowell, who had four rushes for 68 yards, including a 39-yarder on his first carry of the day. Andre Ellington had 5-41 rushing and added two receptions, while freshman Mike Bellamy had five carries for 40 yards.

The first-team defense did not allow a scoring drive and was led by Martin Jenkins with seven tackles, including a tackle for loss. Corico Hawkins had five tackles and a fumble recovery, while freshman defensive end Corey Crawford had five stops, including a sack. Other players with sacks were Rennie Moore, and Victor Beasley. Justin Parker, Coty Sensabaugh, Bashaud Breeland, Kantrell Brown and Beasley all had passes broken up.

Another bright spot of the day was the kicking game. Clemson's three kickers, Chandler Catanzaro, Ammon Lakip and Brian Symmes were a combined 16-16 on the day in field goal attempts and extra points against a live rush.

Three Tigers missed the scrimmage because they were going through graduation exercises across the street from Memorial Stadium in Littlejohn Coliseum. Starting offensive tackle Landon Walker, starting safety Rashard Hall and reserve defensive end Kourtnei Brown all graduated from Clemson on Saturday.

It was especially noteworthy for Hall, who has been at Clemson just three years. He joins Nick Eason (now in the NFL with the Arizona Cardinals) as the only scholarship football players to graduate with two years of athletic eligibility remaining.

Four players missed the scrimmage due to injury. Those players were defensive back Xavier Brewer (sprained foot), defensive back Garry Peters (bruised calf), Andre Branch (head injury), DeShawn Williams (sprained ankle).

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