Sport Notebook: Clemson's defensive line dominates scrimmage

02:25  13 august  2017
02:25  13 august  2017 Source:   sportsxchange.com

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Ohio State has a solid counter-argument, but Clemson might have the best defensive line in the country. That talented front was on display Saturday as the defending national champion Tigers held their first scrimmage of fall camp.

football notebook : Clemson ’ s defensive line dominates scrimmage . Ohio Condition has a solid counter-argument, but Clemson might have the best defensive line in That proficient entrance was on show Saturday as the defending national champion Tigers held their to start with scrimmage of

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Ohio State has a solid counter-argument, but Clemson might have the best defensive line in the country.

That talented front was on display Saturday as the defending national champion Tigers held their first scrimmage of fall camp. The defense overall had 14 tackles for losses, including seven sacks.

Returning All-American defensive tackle Christian Wilkins made five tackles, two for losses. Another first-round prospect for 2018 -- defensive end Clelin Ferrell -- made three tackles for loss, including a sack. Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, the ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year last season, had four stops. End Austin Bryant made two sacks.

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College football notebook : Clemson ' s defensive line dominates scrimmage 8 months ago ago. Ohio State has a solid counter-argument, but Clemson might have the best defensive line in the country.

The defense was celebrating a dominating performance after holding the Dolphins offense to one first down in eight possessions. After the Dolphins scrimmaged inside the practice bubble at the Baptist Health Training Facility at Nova Southeastern University, the team’ s defensive players gathered on

"We played well on both sides of the ball today, but the defense was more consistent," coach Dabo Swinney said afterward. "I think we're going to have good depth, real strength in numbers over there."

Clemson has seven returning starters on defense, which doesn't include Bryant, who missed the first six games of last season because of a foot injury.

While the defense is expected to remain at a championship level, the Tigers' biggest question is at quarterback, where there is ongoing competition to replace Deshaun Watson. The front-runner is junior Kelly Bryant, who spent most of his playing time Saturday going against the first-team defense.

Bryant threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown, but Swinney didn't blame Bryant for the tipped pass, because a blocker failed to cut the defensive end who got his hands on the pass.

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"I thought our defense was awesome for four quarters," said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. "I was really proud of our defensive effort. The story of the game was the turnovers and how we controlled the line of scrimmage .

Clemson ’ s defense , specifically the defensive line , was among college football’s best in 2016. As a sophomore, Bryant recorded 13 total tackles, 4.5 behind the line of scrimmage , and was credited He gets a little help from a fellow Clemson pass rusher, but he dominates the right tackle yet again.

"Kelly had a couple of tough breaks," Swinney said. "He made the right decisions, did what we asked him to do, and that is what we're evaluating him on."

-- Alabama held its first scrimmage, which was closed to the media.

"We have a lot of young players at a lot of positions that can certainly benefit from the first time under the fire," coach Nick Saban said. "And we had some older guys that played really, really well in this scrimmage. So we have to try to build on that."

Two of the young guys are five-star offensive tackles Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills. Leatherwood has been working with the second team at right tackle behind sophomore Matt Womack; Wills also has been working at right tackle.

"I think both those guys have done well in practice," Saban said. "We think both of those guys have potential to help us."

-- Texas junior running back Chris Warren did not participate in Saturday's scrimmage after suffering a concussion earlier in the week, coach Tom Herman said.

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Clemson ' s first full scrimmage of spring practice did not go according to plan for Hunter Johnson. The rising sophomore quarterback tweaked his hamstring during Wednesday's scrimmage in the indoor All everyone talks about, and deservedly so, is how great Clemson ’ s defensive line will be in 2018.

And the Trojans' defense is indeed experienced, with a front seven capable of owning the line of scrimmage . "I thought they came with an attitude," Helton said. Notebook : Clemson ' s defensive line dominates scrimmage .

It's the latest setback for Warren, who was limited by an ankle injury in 2015 and then hamstring and knee problems last season. A hamstring injury kept him out for most of spring practice, and he was affected by a mumps outbreak on campus this summer.

Warren has four career starts, including two last season, when he rushed 62 times for 366 yards in four games. Sophomore running back Kyle Porter has often worked with the first team in camp, with Herman mentioning Saturday the need for true freshman Toneil Carter and Daniel Young to be ready to play.

Related slideshow: Spring games (provided by USA TODAY Sports)

Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) sprints in for a touchdown in the spring game on April 22. College football spring games in 2017

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