As pollen builds across the Upstate of South Carolina, Dabo Swinney hopes his football team is building toward a successful finish to spring practice.
The 19,000 in attendance will be keeping a close eye on several players and position groups. They may also need a roster sheet with many key players, including tight end Braden Galloway becoming the latest, to miss the big event.
Swinney has been very positive, though, about his team's improvement through its 12 practices and feels like he's got a special thing brewing in Tiger Town. Here's a look at some of the top storylines from spring practice you might've missed last week:
Clemson’s Barrett Carter: ‘We want (Gamecocks) to be on their A-game’
This is not the first time the Gamecocks got a big win prior to playing the Tigers. Last year, they took down Auburn the week before and also had a recent rout of Florida before the Tigers shut them out 30-0 in Columbia.
South Carolina at Clemson: 5 Things to Watch For
Five storylines to follow in the annual rivalry matchup between the Clemson Tigers and South Carolina Gamecocks.
Clemson Loses Heartbreaker to No. 25 Iowa In Emerald Coast Classic
Clemson lost in heartbreaking fashion 74-71 to No. 25 Iowa in the Emerald Coast Classic.
Football will once again dominate headlines this week, but there's more going on at Clemson to keep hold your attention:
1. Who will the stars be Saturday?: Spring games are about seeing new faces make big plays. Trevor Lawrence wowed the crowd on his first spring game pass, and he turned out to be pretty good. What about this year? Everyone's already seen what Uiagalelei can do. Maybe Will Shipley or Phil Mafah break off a big run or one of the "Collins Towers" beats a DB deep for an impressive touchdown. There are some unproven defenders who might shine as well.
2. Let him speak: The media hasn't heard from Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables since before the Sugar Bowl debacle. That's going to change this week. Venables is scheduled to meet with the media Wednesday, and he'll be asked plenty of questions about turning his defense around. Swinney has complete faith in his DC, who's considered one of the best in the business. But he'll need to get more out of his pass rush and secondary in 2021 if the Tigers want to become much stingier when comes to giving up the big play.
3. Baseball is back: Monte Lee finally has the Tigers headed in the right direction. After dropping eight of their first 13 games, they've now won five consecutive contests and seven of the last eight. Coming off a weekend series sweep at Boston College, which included 32 runs scored in three games, Clemson is 12-9 overall and 6-6 in ACC play. It turns out that all is not lost, and the Tigers have found their offensive momentum as well as some solid pitching performances from some unexpected arms. They'll look to stay hot against Georgia on Tuesday.
4. Softball earns key split: The 17-game win streak finally came to an end, but John Rittman's squad still took two of the four-game series against No. 11 Duke. The No. 20 Tigers ended the Blue Devils' 20-game win streak in the super-competitive showdowns. Clemson softball has proven to be one of the best teams in the ACC and has a lot to play for this season. Duke was a great litmus test for this squad, which now knows it can compete against a top-level team. The Tigers are back in action Thursday when UNC comes to town for a four-game series.
5. Transfer portal craziness: Like pretty much every team that isn't still playing college basketball, Clemson has lost multiple players to the NCAA transfer portal already. That means there are roster spots to fill, and Brad Brownell has had success working that system to his advantage in the past. This could be a week when the Tigers began adding to next year's team.
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