CLEMSON — When asked Tuesday, Dabo Swinney addressed the rumors that newly hired Ohio State coach Urban Meyer would target offensive coordinator Chad Morris as he builds his OSU staff.
“I’ve heard no rumors, nobody (from Ohio State) has called me,” Swinney said. “I wouldn’t be surprised. He’s a great coach.”
Swinney said he’s had calls from other “people, about five, in fact,” but not Ohio State.
“Chad is committed to Clemson,” he said. “He loves it here. I don’t see him leaving for anyplace until it’s for a BCS head coaching position.”
Morris signed a four-year deal with Clemson last January which pays him $450,000 annually; Clemson is expected to revisit the deal this offseason and address any offers he receives.
Meyer called two Clemson games this fall as an ESPN color analyst and visited with Morris, so he’s more than familiar with him. Although he will run a spread offense at OSU, Meyer said Monday that he expects to call his own plays, which would presumably be a hindrance for Morris.
Steele goes on defensive: Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele went on the offensive when discussing his unit’s poor run performance against South Carolina, and overall. USC rushed for 210 yards, led by quarterback Connor Shaw, who gained 107 on 19 carries.
Steele noted that power offense and zone read runs accounted for 151 yards on 44 attempts, or 3.4 yards per carry.
“That’s winning football in anybody’s book,” he said.
Per Steele’s analysis of the tape, he determined that Shaw also gained 76 yards on seven scrambles.
“When you start talking about it, people need to understand the game,” he said. “And if you don’t understand the game, you say, well, they ran the ball. Well, stopping the quarterback running for 76 yards when they’ve got pass routes and you’ve got rushers, obviously, if it’s a four-man rush, there’s more gaps than four up there. Someone’s got to get off blocks and make sure they’re in their gap.”
Steele pointed to Shaw’s 34-yard scramble where “a guy who’s played a lot of football, lines up in the B-gap and goes inside and loses his rush lane,” as well as a long gain after a “young guy in the secondary” who was supposed to edge blitz and switch places with linebacker Tig Willard, but didn’t.
“I can’t explain it any better than that,” he said. “It’s do your job of something we work on. It’s that simple.”
Steele also called on his players to be more accountable and responsible.
“Hey, you’ve got to make the play,” he said. “… If it was something that’s not repped on or coached on in practice, than that’s on me. Now at a point in time, then the other part falls on me, which is why are the guys not making the plays. If it’s there, why are you not making them? We have a defensive end, a guy who’s played lot of football (Kourtnei Brown, per video), who hits the guy at the line of scrimmage and misses him. Another guy five yards from that hits the guy and misses him.
“We’ve got to teach tackling better, teach double coverage better, we’ve got to teach them better so they’re making the plays. They’re there, but we’re not making the plays.”