|Morris' finely-tuned offense sputters its way to a win|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Friday, September 20, 2013 1:06 AM||
RALEIGH, N.C. – Clemson’s offense, which usually runs like a fine-tuned Ferrari, sputtered and coughed around Carter-Finley Stadium for the better part of two-and-a-half quarters Thursday night, doing its best impression of an old jalopy instead of the sports car that offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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The Tigers hadn’t taken the field in a competitive situation in 12 days, and the first team offense hadn’t played together more than a few snaps since Clemson’s season-opening win over Georgia back on August 31st, and the rust was there for a national television audience to see.
“I think we looked like an offensive football team that hadn’t played in about ten days, to be honest with you,” Morris said after the game. “And even ten days prior to that, they didn’t play together very long. I thought we never got into a rhythm in the first half. I thought Tajh (Boyd) missed some opportunities that he normally doesn’t miss, but that is part of it. I am proud of the win.”
The Tigers ran 46 offensive plays in the first half and managed 220 total yards, but put up just 13 first half points as long drives ended with backfires on the Pack side of the field.
Morris was asked if he thought Boyd was frustrated in the opening stanza, and he said no.
“I don’t think frustrated is the word. I just think he got down on himself a little bit and he rallied back,” Morris said. “You are going to have things like that. He hasn’t had too many of those times in his career with me, and it’s something you learn from. You rally, you pull yourself back up and you go on. And at some point, you quit talking. He doesn’t want to hear from you anymore, he wants to try and figure it out for himself. It was good for him to hit a couple of passes and get back into a rhythm.”
Boyd said the entire offense was in a funk for much of the game.
“It just wasn’t smooth. I don’t really know if it was anxiety or having 12 days off,” Boyd said. “There wasn’t a rhythm like we wanted it to be. We try to move the ball each drive. We didn’t have any turnovers, but at the end of the day we have to score and we didn’t do that.
“I had opportunities early in the game and I just didn’t convert. But getting back into this and getting back into a rhythm will help us. At the end of the day, somebody just had to make a play. I didn’t do a good job of weathering the storm in the first half, but we did a better job in the second half of adjusting.”
The Tigers recovered enough for two second half touchdowns – Boyd threw scoring tosses to Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
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Calhoun Falls, SC
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“I thought we battled back in the second half and just tried to get them into a rhythm and back in synch,” Morris said. “They (first team offense) really hadn’t played together since the first game of the season. And give credit to them (NC State), they did a good job and they held some things back and didn’t show a whole lot in their first two games. You have to give them credit. But we weren’t in a flow and we didn’t get in a groove and squandered some opportunities early on.”
Boyd was sacked twice on the game’s initial drive, and the rest of the contest was spent shuffling different line combinations in and out of the game as Morris and line coach Robbie CaldwellRobbie Caldwell
Assistant Coach / Offensive Line
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“We were trying to find the right mix. We gave up a couple of sacks on the first drive and we were a little concerned,” Morris said. “We were shuffling guys in and out and we were trying to find some chemistry. Fortunately, we’ve got some guys that can give us depth. We are going to go back to work.”
I asked Morris if he thought starting jobs on the line would be up for grabs during practice next week, and he said yes.
“I think so. I think there are some guys that battling and pushing each other. There is no doubt about that,” he said.
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