Tony Elliott on offensive struggles: We want to score more points
|Friday, October 15, 2021, 11:56 PM- -|
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott put every Clemson fan's thoughts into words following the Tigers narrow 17-14 win over Syracuse in New York on Friday, stating “we want to score more points”.
The Clemson offense mustered up 314 total yards of offense and scored 17 points, the fourth time this season the Tigers have scored less than 20 points in a game (and only 21 against NC State).
“This week I wanted to put up more points, every kid in that locker room wanted to score more points,” Elliott said after the win. “We want to have the production and the output that we are used to having here at Clemson. Some things we can control, and some things we cannot control, it’s just the way it’s happening. The biggest thing for us is to continue to come to work every day and have four great days of practice and use this extra time to get back to the drawing board.”
“We know that down the stretch if we want to finish the season the way we want, we’re going to have to play our best football,” said Elliott. “We’re not looking farther ahead than Pittsburgh, they're a good football team and we’re going up to play in their place. Everybody wants to score more points, everybody wants to play complementary football with our defense, and everybody is going back to work like we do.”
Clemson was 5-of-15 on third down and also committed seven penalties for 60 yards. Elliott thought the offensive game plan was good, but costly penalties and mistakes shot the Tigers in the foot on some drives.
“I think this was the game that they (the offense) thought it was going to break out,” Elliott said. “We continue to shoot ourselves in the foot, a costly penalty here, a missed block there and a miscommunication on a drive and now you’re working from behind. Thought we had some good things, we had some long, long drives we put together. It’s back to the drawing board. The guys still have the will to win and are working their butts off. We’re very optimistic that at some point it’s going to turn. The only thing in the way is us, and getting out of our own way.”
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was 21-of-34 on the night for 181 yards and one touchdown. The sophomore also rushed the ball 11 times for 26 yards including a 10-yard scamper on a third and long to pick up the first. Elliott believes that his QB played well and didn’t turn the ball over.
“That’s two weeks in a row not turning the ball over,” Elliott said. “That’s big and gives you chances to win. I thought he put the ball in places they needed to be and we just didn’t come down with the catches. I can only recall two throws that he missed, the hitch route that hit the ground and the deep ball down the sideline that he didn’t connect with Ross on. Other than that he put the ball in places for our guys to make catches and ran the ball when we needed him too.”
“Overall DJ continues to get better,” said Elliott. “Numbers are necessarily where you want them to be, but at the end of the day he’s managing the game the way we are wanting him to. He got better in giving the guys opportunity to make catches, and we just didn’t make the catches today.”
Redshirt sophomore offensive lineman Mason Trotter made his season debut for the Tigers, stepping in for Hunter Rayburn who entered COVID protocols earlier in the day. Elliott thought keeping Matt Bockhorst at guard and letting Trotter do the snapping duties was the best thing and thought Trotter played well.
“Felt like the best thing to do was give Mason Trotter an opportunity at center,” Elliott said. “Outside of the snap, I think Mason did a solid job of being the next man up. I think the thing that disrupted the most was the penalties and the missed plays and blocks on the outside.”
Clemson will travel to Pittsburgh next week for a matchup with the Pitt Panthers inside of Heinz Field.