Hangin' with the Chad


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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is excited. Just ask him.

Clemson’s offensive coordinator spoke with the media about the challenge of playing at No. 4 Florida St. this weekend, a game that sees his offense take on the nation’s No. 1 defense, and he said he was “fired up” for the game.

“I wish we were loading the plane today,” Morris said at the end of his interview. “I am fired up. This is a great opportunity for our players and our program.”

Morris said that being an underdog isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

“I don’t think anybody is going to pick us, at least not outside of this building,” Morris said. “That is great. We have been in games before where nobody picks us to win. This is a great challenge for our team and a great challenge for our offense. They are the best defense in the country, but we take pride what we do, and this will be a great challenge. We will be ready and we will show up. It will be good. We have great respect for FSU and Coach [Jimbo] Fisher and Coach [Mark] Stoops and what they do defensively. But we will be ready.”

Morris said this week he will worry more about Clemson than he will worry about the Noles.

“I am more worried about ourselves,” Morris. “Just the fact that we are going into the environment we are going to be in will be a challenge, but it’s all about blocking and tackling and protecting the football. Whether there are 85 fans in the stands, or 85,000 fans, it will come down to blocking and tackling and taking care of the football.”

He said he doesn’t think he will have too tough of a time getting the offense focused on what Florida St. brings to the table.

“This week, we are looking at as a great opportunity,” he said. “The last two weeks we have been working to get better and trying to keep from looking ahead to Florida St. I thought we did a really good job of that. Now that FSU week is here, they have been looking at this moment and this date and I don’t think you will have a problem getting them excited for FSU. They have been in big games before, and they played FSU here last year. We will put a good plan together. You want them ready Saturday at 8 p.m. That is when you want them ready.”

Morris said the Noles are impressive on tape.

“One of the things that really stands out is the depth they have at all positions,” he said. “They are the No. 1 defense in the country for a reason. On the interior of the defensive front, they are rotating six or seven guys in. They try and keep those guys fresh. They haven’t really had a chance to play four solid quarters. You know they are going to be fresh and ready. We are excited about this opportunity – and what does it say for ACC right now to have two top 10 teams playing each other on ABC in prime time.

He said that one of the biggest matchups to watch will be how Clemson’s receivers respond to Florida St.’s press coverage.

“They are pressing a little bit more out on the edge,” Morris said. “They are trying to disrupt you and play straight across at times and see if you can past the press coverage. They aren’t going to change what they do for us. Same thing for us – we aren’t going to change what we do. I am really excited – this type of environment and these opportunities don’t come around every week. This has been one we have been looking at and preparing for. I am sure they are a lot like us, and they have held some things back and will do some things we haven’t seen, but in the end when it’s 3rd-and-four you will do what you do and they will do that they do. We just have to make sure our guys are ready – you can’t beat yourself in a game like this.”

Clemson’s starting five on the offensive line – Brandon ThomasBrandon Thomas
RS Jr. Offensive Line
#63 6-3, 305
Spartanburg, SC

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, David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS So. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
Columbus, GA

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, Dalton FreemanDalton Freeman
Gr. Center
#55 6-5, 265
Pelion, SC

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, Tyler ShatleyTyler Shatley
RS Jr. Offensive Guard
#62 6-3, 295
Icard, NC

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and Giff Timothy – haven’t played together as a unit since the Auburn game and Morris said that unit’s cohesiveness will be a concern.

“It is a little bit,” he said. “We have to get them in there. They have been practicing together. We made the decision to hold them out last weekend and make sure they are healthy again. We have to do a good job this week of challenging them to by physical. For Giff, we have to get him back to that tough edge he had in camp. When the first group is in there, they have done a good job. I won’t say great or they might not show up at practice today.”


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