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Can Morris Do It Again?


  by - Radio Host - Tuesday, July 1, 2014 6:22 AM
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Can Morris Do It Again?
When Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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arrived as the offensive coordinator at Clemson few knew what the Tigers were getting.

He took over an offense that was struggling. The year before he arrived Clemson averaged 24 points per game, 335 yards of total offense, 139 yards per game rushing and 196 yards per game passing.  Most importantly, the Tigers were 6-7.

In its three years with Morris, Clemson has gone 32-8.  The Tigers have won the division, been to two BCS bowl games, won the conference, won the Orange Bowl and have beaten powers like Auburn (twice), Florida State, Virginia Tech (three times), Georgia, LSU and Ohio State.

In terms of points per game Clemson went from 24 points per game before he arrived to 33.6 points per game his first year, 41 points per game his second year and 40.2 points last season.

Before he arrived Clemson averaged 335 yards of total offense.  In Morris' three years Clemson averaged 441 yards in 2011, 513 yards per game in 2012 and 508 yards last season.

The Tigers averaged 139 yards per game on the ground the year before Morris came to town.  In his first season that number improved to 159 yards.  In 2012 it went to 191 yards.  Last season they averaged 175 yards per game on the ground.

The passing game has improved dramatically as well.  Before Morris got the job, Clemson averaged 196 yards per game passing.  In year one that number went to 282.  In 2011 it improved to 322.  It went up again last year to 333 yards per game.

Yards per play is a good indicator especially in the hurry up offense.  Clemson averaged 5 yards per play the year before Morris.  That number has steadily increased.  It went to 5.8 in 2011, 6.3 in 2012 and 6.4 last season.

Completion percentage has improved each year as well.  In 2010 before Morris the quarterbacks averaged 56.2%.  Since his arrival that number has gone to 59.2% in year one, 67.1% in year two and 69.2% last season.

Ball security is preached by Morris.  Clemson went from minus 3 in the turnover department the year before he arrived to minus one in year one under Morris.  The Tigers were plus three in year two and plus six in turnovers last year.

Clemson has broken almost every offensive school record under Morris.

Besides the productivity and wins, Morris gave Clemson's offense something it desperately needed.  He gave the Tigers an identity.  Now they are known for the pace.  The program has been able to brand its style.

The style won't change.  The brand won't change.  But just how much of this is the offense and how much of it was based on personnel?

Even Morris' biggest fans have to admit he has had a lot of talent.  Play calling is easier with a record setting quarterback throwing to NFL receivers.

However it also must be pointed out that he has lost talent since he first arrived and the numbers did not drop off.   Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
Tight End (2008 - 2011)
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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had a great year in the offense in 2011 but tight end production did not drop off that far with Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Tight End (2008 - 2012)
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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in 2012.  Last season without Ford, the Tigers tight ends were still productive.

Nuk Hopkins had a great 2011 and 2012 but left a year early for the NFL draft.  The offense did not fall off after the first rounder left.

Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back (2008 - 2012)
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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enjoyed a great 2011 and 2012 and starred in the NFL last season.  The running game was supposed to be by committee last season but Rod McDowell rushed for over 1,000 yards in his senior season.

Also remember Morris has done this without a dominating offensive line each year.

My guess is the offense will look slightly different this year.  It's hard not to miss a great quarterback, two NFL wide outs and an NFL left tackle.  However, I don't think this is a rebuilding year on offense either.  I think the culture is set and the offense will be fine in 2014.


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Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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Linebacker
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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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