Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris met with the media Saturday to break down LSU and reflect on the season that was...
COACH MORRIS: It's definitely a great challenge ahead of us against a very solid opponent,that we feel is one play away from playing in the National Championship Game. And so we honestly are excited about this opportunity.
I think it's a great gauge for our program and knowing that our guys are ready. They are excited about this opportunity and we look forward to it.
Q. What do you think you have to do against this defense to be successful or to have the kind of success that you had in Tallahassee?
Morris: It's more about Clemson
Execution offensively focused inward
COACH MORRIS: Well I think you've got to execute. I think that's the biggest thing that we've seen as we watch what they do defensively, very sound, well-coached. They play fast. They play aggressive. And I think the biggest thing that you see when you watch LSU defense is you see a defensive front four that is not just four guys. They are rotating guys in. They are two-deep and they do a really good job of getting their guys in and out. I think the thing that we have to do is we have to be able to come out and play our game and do what we do. I think anybody at this stage of the season, better worry about yourself. I've been saying that all year long is it's more about the Clemson Tigers than it is LSU Tigers, and we have got to make sure that we do what we do.
You're not going to come through the course of the Bowl, you're not going to reinvent plays and try to be somebody you're not. And so we have got to be able to do a good job of coming out and executing and eliminating the three-and-outs and playing fast and playing aggressive.
Q. The play-calling style with the placards and pictures, when did you incorporate that, what's the benefit of it, and whose idea was it to include Snoop Dogg?
COACH MORRIS: I think our players gave us several different pictures they would like to see up, from Snoop Dogg to all of the coaches wives up; I don't know, we had to ask permission on that. But no, everything's got some significance. We have been doing that for I guess since 2003. You know, it's got its own unique feel to it. I can't tell you what it means or nothing like that, I don't know if that's what you're trying to get across, but they all have a significant meaning. Hey, you never know what picture we are going to roll out there this week
Q. Being in Baton Rouge, just listening to Tajh and looking at him, looks like he's 30, sounds like he's 40, just a mature guy I guess. Can you talk about his intangibles off the field and coupled with his abilities and what he's enabled this team to do?
COACH MORRIS: Well, they said we have to be through at 12:15, and I could talk all day about Tajh Boyd, and I could talk all day about what he means, not just to this program, but to our community, our university. He is truly the face of the university and he represents Clemson extremely well, not just the football program, but the entire university.
You know, being around Tajh for now, almost two years, getting to know him, and he and I have an unbelievable relationship, I think it's important that their coordinator and quarterback have a relationship that maybe you don't have with other players.
And so he and I have that, and have really grown close in being able to visit on different things, whether it deals with football or not. And for him to be able to feel comfortable, not just around me but my family and my kids, I think you see that with Tajh and because of that, there's a trust and Tajh has to trust the fact of what we are doing, got to believe wholeheartedly with everything he's got in the system that we are running and he's got to communicate that to the players from the offensive standpoint.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Tajh Boyd is not just the leader of our offense. He's the leader of our football team. We talk about it all the time: So goes our quarterback, so goes our football team. That comes with the position. He chose to play this position a long time ago and that comes with the territory.
Tajh means so much more than just being the quarterback of this football team. And I think the very first day that I got there, one of the things that we talked about was, it is a big deal to be the quarterback for the Clemson Tigers and we want it to be that way, and we want whoever comes next for it to be a big deal for them. If you're the quarterback for the Clemson Tigers, it's something to be said.
I think Tajh is playing that way. He's broken just about every record that there is. We have got a lot of work still to do. He can still improve his game a lot, and he knows that and we talk about that all the time. I'm excited to watch him and as he prepares for this game and the preparation we have gone hrough for the last 15 practices, but when it comes to Monday night, we'll be excited to watch him and excited to watch him perform. It's the stage that he's been looking for and you can't ask for anything better than this.
Q. You went out to Oklahoma State, to look at Justin Blackmon and how he was utilized -- were you able to implement -- with the suspension and illness and all that?
COACH MORRIS: Well, I think you see what Nuke has done this year and the success that Nuke has had, really picking up when Sammy was out for the three or four games that he was out there year.
So, yes, I think we are able to utilize some of it, but it was kind of hard to get into a flow, trying to evolve into what we really wanted to get into, because with the suspension and then he misses a couple more games being sick, it was really difficult. And then you got into the meat of your schedule and you had to do what you were doing in making sure you were getting good at something with it. Yeah, we have, and we have had an opportunity to do some things during the 15 Bowl practices, as well, so we are excited about it.