Morris lauds defense, says offense has to improve


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CLEMSON – Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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faced the media outside of the Clemson locker room late Saturday afternoon with a wry smile on his face.

His offense limited to just 295 yards of total offense, the second-lowest output by the Tigers in the 21 games that Morris has been at the helm – the lowest the 153 yards gained in a 34-13 loss to South Carolina at the end of last season.

This time, however, it wasn’t a loss and the Tigers managed to put up 31 offensive points [seven came on an interception by Jonathan MeeksJonathan Meeks
Sr. Safety
#5 6-1, 210
Rock Hill, SC

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], thanks in large part to a Tiger defense that not only provided three interceptions, but gave the offense good field position for much of the day.

As a result, Morris was quick to praise the defense in his interview session while saying that the offense needs to play better.

“I thought our defense played very well, gave us an opportunity to capitalize on some opportunities,” Morris said. “That was great to see that. I’m proud of those guys on that side of the football. But, obviously, yes, we have played a lot better offensive football around here.”

Morris said that quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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- who finished a pedestrian 12-for-21 for 160 yards – looked rusty on Saturday, and that the offense takes its cue from the trigger man.

“He couldn’t quite find a groove today, especially the first three quarters,” Morris said. “I thought he ran the ball well, especially late in the game, but those things are going to happen. It was definitely not his best game. I thought he was off, and he missed some easy throws. He could have kept some drives alive, and I thought there were too many three-and-outs. Entirely too many.”

Boyd said he couldn’t explain his slow start.

“We’re starting to get the expectation that we want to score 50 right off the bat,” Boyd said. “That’s just kind of how things go. Sometimes you’re going to have one of these games where it takes a little while. I don’t feel like we came out and executed like we needed to.”

Morris was asked about the struggles of Clemson’s offensive line – the Tigers gave up five sacks to Tech – and Morris admitted that there were issues on the right side of the line and called the effort “embarrassing.”

“There’s no question about that. It’s unacceptable to have five sacks in a game,” Morris said. “I haven’t looked at all five of them and they probably aren’t all on the offensive line. Tajh had the chance to throw the ball away a couple of times and he didn’t do that. That [meeting] room will get a little warm.“

The Tigers were able to get wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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involved in the offense – Watkins finished the game with eight catches for 84 yards and three carries for nine yards.

“That was something we worked on last week, was try to get him back in shape and get him more involved in the flow of the game,” Morris said. “I think you saw that.”

The Tigers return to action at Wake Forest Thursday night in a 7:30 p.m. contest that will be shown nationally on ESPN, and Morris said the preparations were started during Clemson’s open week.

“It is a quick turnaround, and we worked on them during the open week for a few days,” he said. “So, from a coaching standpoint, we have a plan in place. Now it’s getting that for the players, because obviously they have a quick turnaround as well.”


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