SPORTS LIBRARY, Clemson, football

CLEMSON – The Clemson Tigers continue their preparation for the Aug. 29 season-opener against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Saturday as they travel across Perimeter Road into the friendly confines of Death Valley for their first of two preseason scrimmages.

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While last season's preseason scrimmages saw the emergence of wide receiver Justyn Ross, whose one-handed catch garnered him a place in the SportsCenter top 10, and Lyn-J Dixon, who had the most "wow" plays last camp, the Tigers are not looking for the next great talent this year.

Instead, they are simply looking for how the players have retained the information they have been given.

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"Just retention. See where we are," head coach Dabo Swinney said. "You know, you come and you just throw a whole lot of stuff at them. And then after Saturday, we kind of see what's really stuck and we kind of got to scoop it all back up and got to give it to them again and see if we can get some more hang-in-there. But that's really the main thing, just an assessment of where we are."

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College teams do not get the benefit of playing preseason football games as is the case in the NFL. Instead, they are limited by NCAA rules to only two preseason scrimmages during which they can go live.

Meaning the Tigers will look to get the most out of Saturday's first scrimmage as possible.

"We get really two preseason games, if you will, so the way we do two full scrimmages and then we'll have a controlled situational scrimmage on Tuesday morning," Swinney said. "That's different you know because it's really situational and it's controlled as opposed to just let's go play some ball.

"So we've got two opportunities and the biggest thing in this first one is just kind of assess where we are ... what's our retention and ... then kind of strategize from there."

While the fan base and the media will be looking to draw some big conclusions about the depth chart, or who made a move and who didn't following the scrimmage, for Swinney and the rest of the coaching staff, no decisions will be made — except for setting the stage for the Tigers' next scrimmage on Tuesday.

"It's not a lot of final decisions or any decisions really," Swinney said. "Maybe it may set the tone for for the situation scrimmage in the next one, but it's really just an assessment. For me, that's okay because we've put a lot and there's a lot going on and let's see ... who's got it."

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Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat. He also serves as a co-host of Solid Orange, seen at 11 p.m. Wednesdays on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia. He is editor of www.ClemsonMaven.io


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