Morris not happy with short yardage


by - Senior Writer -
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CLEMSON – Chad Morris wasn’t entirely happy following Clemson’s first scrimmage of the spring, and his unhappiness was thinly veiled when he spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon in the WestZone.

The Tigers held a 100-play scrimmage Monday afternoon in Death Valley, and Morris wasted no time in his session with the media Wednesday to voice his displeasure over what has become a recurring and painful theme in Clemson’s running game – an inability to convert in short-yardage situations.

Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS So. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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mentioned it himself after Monday’s scrimmage – saying the Tiger offense would bog down in those situations, especially close to the goal line - and Morris echoed those comments.

“We had fourth-and-basically six inches down on the goal line and weren’t able to get it in,” Morris said. “That was very disappointing. That probably left the worst taste in my mouth, in our staff’s mouth and the players’ mouth, of the whole scrimmage. What good we had done up to that point put a damper on that.”

Morris said that failure to convert was particularly disappointing considering he has spent so much of the offseason trying to correct the issue.

“That’s what we’ve based our whole offseason on,” he said. “That’s what we’ve based our whole spring on, taking the ownership in the short-yardage. We failed, in that regard, from our top bunch. On the other hand, the second group was very successful in short-yardage. That was some promise there.”

The good news coming out of the scrimmage was that Morris’ up-tempo offense seems to be getting faster as the players get more comfortable in the system.

“I thought our tempo was probably as good as it’s ever been,” he said. “We had 104 snaps in what seemed to be very little time. I’ve been doing this a long time, running this offense, and I don’t know if our tempo has ever been as fast as what it is right now, which is great. That’s what you want.”

Morris then said he was “intrigued” by some of what he saw offensively on Monday, including a good effort from quarterback Tajh Boyd.

“You’ve still got to execute and be able to run the tempo,” he said. “We did execute. We did some good things. I’m very intrigued by some of the things I saw out there. I thought Tajh did well, with a few mental mistakes he had, we’ve got to get him through those. But, for the most part, he had great command of the offense, understanding a lot of things. He’s not putting the ball in jeopardy, which is good. He did have a couple of missed assignment on some things he shouldn’t have, but we’ll get those things right with him.”

Backup quarterback Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Fr. Quarterback
#8 6-4, 200
Dublin, OH

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had his best outing of the spring in Monday’s scrimmage, which came as a relief to Morris, who has watched Stoudt struggle early in the spring.

“That was, by far, the best Cole Stoudt has done this spring,” he said. “It’s a shame that it has taken nine practices to get him to the point where he feels like he’s battling for his playing life, basically. Morgan Roberts has done an outstanding job through the first nine practices. It’s been a very healthy competition at that backup position.”

That is a competition he would like to see spill over into the competition at starting quarterback.

“I wish we had the competition to push Tajh like we’ve got the competition to push the two and the three guys,” Morris said. “That’s something that we’ve got to eventually get to.”
Morris on Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#81 6-5, 200
Isle of Palms, SC

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splitting time at wide receiver and tight end

“He’s made some great catches. He’s made a lot of plays this spring. I’m excited about Stanton. He’ll come in for some of those roles, just create a mismatch problem with a bigger body with a guy that can run. That’s what you’re seeing with Stanton. He’s made some plays. He’s a tough kid.”

On the young offensive linemen

“Of all of them up front, he [Gifford TimothyGifford Timothy
RS Fr. Offensive Tackle
#70 6-6, 315
Middletown, DE

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] has come the furthest and been one of the most consistent. That’s good for him, but Joe GoreJoe Gore
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#73 6-6, 260
Lake Waccamaw, NC

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is pushing him. I think Joe Gore, athletically, is as good as anybody we’ve got. It’s just him learning the system, staying with it and keep growing and studying the game. I think what you’re going to see is a healthy competition with those two guys that’s just going to battle all the way through fall camp.”


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