Tigers put polish on playbook

CLEMSON -- Freshman receiver Brandon Clear had his back turned when his twin brother, defensive end Byron, was unsuspectingly corralled by four veteran teammates and hauled for a plunge into the cold tub.

So Brandon began his march toward the locker room, figuring his rookie initiation was inevitable. And besides -- a dip did not sound all that uncomfortable after several days of triple-digit heat.

"I guess I'll make the most of it," he said.

Allowing the young players the chance to display their wares had been Saturday's theme on the field, too.

Eight days into fall camp, Clemson held its first scrimmage at Memorial Stadium, although it would hardly classify as a dress rehearsal for the Sept. 3 opener against Florida State.

In large measure because of the week's physical toll, the first-team offense worked for about three full series before giving way to the reserves.

Starting quarterback Cullen Harper went 8 of 11 for 80 yards, culminating in a pair of short touchdown passes to receiver Jacoby Ford and tight end Durrell Barry.

"Obviously, we're not real polished and have a long way to go," coach Tommy Bowden said.

The first-teamers occasionally took too long in the 25-second play clock to make their shifts and adjustments, Bowden said, although Harper said that is typically par for the course at this stage of August.

Harper's chief concerns were procedural penalties that cost him two other TD throws, to tailback James Davis and receiver Tyler Grisham.

"The only time we got stopped is when we stopped ourselves," Harper said. "But we've got time to get that fixed."