|Play number 59 could be a season-changing play for Boyd|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Monday, September 23, 2013 12:35 PM||
Clemson’s offensive coordinator admitted Monday that the Tigers’ offense isn’t hitting on all cylinders and struggled at times last Thursday against N.C. State, but Morris said that quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
View Full Profile and the entire offense started clicking on play number 59 against the Wolfpack.
To set the scene – defensive end Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
View Full Profile had just sacked Pack quarterback Pete Thomas and jarred the ball loose, a fumble that was recovered by linebacker Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
#33 6-3, 230
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Leading 13-7, Morris called for a short pass to Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
View Full Profile, a play that lost 12 yards. That play was number 58 on the night for the Clemson offense, and wasn’t much better than many of the first 57 plays.
At that point, however, Morris says that quarterback Tajh Boyd’s entire demeanor changed, and the senior quarterback started having fun again.
“Part of being an offensive football team is getting into a grove and getting into a rhythm, even as a playcaller,” Morris said Monday in the WestZone. “Until play 59 of that game, Tajh never settled down enough to where he was making confident throws and standing in the pocket.”
Facing a 2nd-and-22 at the Clemson 40-yard line, Boyd hit a leaping Martavis BryantMartavis Bryant
Jr. Wide Receiver
#1 6-5, 200
Calhoun Falls, SC
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Boyd followed up that strong throw with a quarterback power run for six yards and first down, Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Gr. Running Back
#25 5-9, 195
View Full Profile McDowell ran for four yards on first down to get Clemson to the Pack 30-yard line. Boyd then hit Bryant again – this time in the endzone – to complete a 30-yard scoring strike that gave the Tigers a 20-7 lead and a little breathing room.
Morris said that Boyd just looked different on play number 59.
“It was the way he dropped back and the way he set his feet,” Morris said. “It was as if he wasn’t thinking, he was just playing football. He put it on the money, and from that point we had back-to-back scoring drives. He actually graded out better from that point forward than he did at any other point in the game.
“That is 59 of 82 plays. We all know what Tajh is capable of doing. We have all seen it. But that is why we play a season. You want to see your team get better as the year goes on. We haven't played our best football, but this is a great opportunity for me as a coordinator and our offensive football team to get better.”
He then cautioned that while Clemson fans may want to blame Boyd for many of the offense’s struggles, he thinks that Boyd will regain his form once he relaxes and has fun again.
“We wouldn’t be in the position we are in today if it wasn’t for Tajh Boyd,” Morris said. “Last year and this year. Included in that is the Georgia game, where in my opinion he was the best player on the field. He just has to relax and go play. I shared that with him, and told him that he just has to go out and have fun. It’s like he has put so much pressure on himself that the little things are slipping. He is a great competitor and he wants to do it all. He just needs to relax and have some fun. He has so much on him – or thinks he does – that he isn’t having fun. Plays 59 to 82, he played extremely well. I am excited about what we saw that last bit.”
The first team offense didn’t play together from August 31st until last Thursday, and Morris said that the long time in between games probably hurt the team’s continuity. However, the Tigers now get back into a regular schedule, and he thinks that play number 59 will be remembered once the season is over.
“I think the schedule is setting up perfectly for us,” he said. “We may go back to play number 59, and say, ‘Hey, we got it going that day.’”
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