Tony Elliott: "Nothing is wrong with Deshaun"
|Saturday, September 10, 2016, 6:34 PM- -|
CLEMSON – Two questions will be prevalent this week when it comes to Clemson’s first two games of the season.
What’s wrong with Clemson’s offense, and what’s wrong with quarterback Deshaun Watson?
Tony Elliott says nothing is wrong with Watson, and his offense just needs to take care of the little things.
Watson completed 27-of-53 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions. Running back Wayne Gallman had just nine carries for 34 yards, and the Tigers averaged 3.8 yards per rush on 32 carries.
Last week at Auburn, Clemson managed just 19 points, but there was hope the offense would have a coming out party. The party was a bust as Clemson had 414 total yards of offense and held the ball for a little over 26 minutes.
Elliott told the media after the game that Troy’s defense was intent on stopping Clemson’s bread and butter.
“We tried to establish an early rhythm in the running game, but they came out with some different structure where they were going to take some chances,” Elliott said. “They were geared up to stop our bread and butter, so we had to find some of the complimentary schemes we had to get to, and we felt like we had some success playing fast. And we felt like we could make some plays in the passing game until we could figure out what were our best schemes.”
Elliott said the offensive line needed to shoulder part of the blame on the lack of running success.
“Early on I didn't feel like we had the push in the running game that caused us to get away from our base scheme and find a complementary scheme,” he said. “Throughout the course of the game, we were able to find a little bit of the running game.”
Watson has appeared to be out of synch in the season’s first two weeks, but Elliott said Watson needs his supporting cast to play better.
“There is nothing wrong with Deshaun. We just have to do a better job in his supporting cast of helping him get into a rhythm, so it's not all on his shoulders,” he said. “From the offensive line protecting him and making sure he's not getting hit, to the running backs consistently finding the holes and not getting us behind the chains, so we don't have to put all that pressure on him.”
Elliott took the blame for one of Watson’s two interceptions.
“One of those was on me. I probably went to the well one too many times on that corner ball, and their guy made a heck of a play,” he said. “The one earlier in the game might have been a misread. I have to take a look at the tape to evaluate that. But one of those is on me because I went to the well on that corner route one too many times.”
Clemson receivers dropped seven passes on the afternoon, and Elliott said it’s a situation where the receivers have to make plays so the offense can get into a rhythm.
“When you're talking about the passing game, dropped balls are a big deal, and that means concentration is a big deal. Especially for the wide receiver,” Elliott said. “Sometimes you want to make a play before it's available to you. We will look at it and see if there are fundamental issues in the dropped balls. Some of the plays were there, and we were just waiting on those guys to make plays. And once they make a play we can get into a rhythm and make a play and be loose.”
What will the Tigers work on in practice this week? Elliott said there wouldn't be major changes – the Tigers need to make sure they care of the little things.
“It's just the little things. The little things we can control,” he said. “That's what we have to get back to.”