Watching Auburn's offense with Clemson in mind was a bit of a revelation

Same approach, but Gus Malzahn has leaned to the run, Chad Morris to passing-game playmakers

Offensive coordinators Gus Malzahn and Chad Morris meet before the Clemson - Auburn game.

Photo by Mark Crammer

Offensive coordinators Gus Malzahn and Chad Morris meet before the Clemson - Auburn game.

Now we get it.

What Auburn did to Missouri on Saturday is pretty much a blueprint for what Chad Morris says he wants to do to Clemson's opponents: Run the football. Run the football some more. And keep running the football.

Watching Auburn's offense with Clemson in mind was a bit of a revelation.

The 'smash-mouth spread,' as Morris has described the offensive system he shares with Gus Malzahn, was on display in the SEC championship game, as Auburn brutalized Missouri's defense for 545 yards rushing.

Malzahn's Tigers also threw for 132 yards. They could have had more, had they chosen that route. But, honestly, running the football was just so much fun. Tre Mason alone carved up the opposing defense for 304 yards and four touchdowns.

Clemson fans who watched the game saw a lot they're familiar with: a shotgun and pistol formation mix, wideouts stretching the field horizontally, backs in motion, tight-end types anywhere and everywhere, a handful of basic rushing plays out of a variety of presentations.

They also saw blocking executed at a very high level. A lot of blocking: offensive linemen sealing off rushing lanes, with backs, tight ends and receivers chasing down linebackers and safeties in the second level.

For the 5-10, 205-pound Mason, it looked almost too easy. And whenever quarterback Nick Marshall opted to keep the football, Missouri was routinely and efficiently blocked at the point of attack. Whenever a defender fell for a bit of misdirection, the inevitable result was a big play.

This is the kind of offense Morris talked about executing when he was introduced as Clemson's offensive coordinator three years ago.

He, like Malzahn, honed his vision at the high school level. He sought out Malzahn as a mentor, learned and tweaked the offense to his liking, and eventually jumped into the college ranks as Malzahn's successor as offensive coordinator at Tulsa.

A year later, Dabo Swinney came calling, intrigued by the hybrid of power, spread and pace, which matched up with his own ideas of how offensive machinery should function.

In Morris' three seasons at Clemson, the Tigers have rewritten practically every offensive record in the book.

But whether by preference or practicality, Clemson's version of the offense Malzahn invented has leaned more heavily on the passing game than has Auburn, which won a national championship in 2010 with Cam Newton running, literally, Malzahn's offense. The War Eagle Tigers will now will play for another in January.

Morris will tell anyone who'll listen that the rushing game is the foundation of his offense. Yet the numbers say that he's still looking for his sweet spot in the balance of run and pass.

Auburn's unbeaten 2010 national championship team averaged 284.8 yards rushing (57 percent) and 214.4 yards passing per game, for a total of 499.2. For the season, Auburn's top rushers were Newton (1,474), followed by running backs Michael Dyer (1,093), Onterio McCalebb (810) and Marion Fannin (395).

This season, Auburn is rushing for 335.7 yards per game (66.4 percent) and passing for 169.6 yards per contest, for a 505.3 per-game average. Top rushers are Mason (1,621), Marshall (1,023), Corey Grant (650) and Cameron Artis Payne (609).

In 2011, Clemson's first season under Morris, the Tigers passed for 282.3 yards (64 percent) and rushed for 158.2, for a total of 440.8. Top rushers were Andre Ellington (1,178), Mike Bellamy (343), D.J. Howard (230), Sammy Watkins (231) and Tajh Boyd (218).

Last season, Clemson passed for 321.6 (62.7 percent) and rushed for 191.1, for a 512.7 total. The Tigers top rushers were Ellington (1,081), Boyd (514), Rod McDowell (450), Howard (138), Zac Brooks (118) and Watkins (100).

This season, the Tigers are passing for 329.2 (65.4 percent) and rushing for 173.8, for a 502.9 total. Clemson's top rushers are McDowell (956), Boyd (284), Brooks (246), Howard (213) and C.J. Davidson (152). Watkins has rushed the ball just five times for eight yards this season.

Morris, like Malzahn, has taken advantage of the weapons he has available, including his quarterback's ability to take a called running play and turn it into a pass. Part of the beauty of the Malzahn-Morris offense is its flexibility.

But looking at the whole, and gauging by his own comments, it would seem safe to say that if Morris had his way, he'd love to do to Clemson's opponents what Auburn did to Missouri on Saturday.

The next generation of playmaking runners - Deshaun Watson, Chad Kelly, Tyshon Dye, Wayne Gallman, Jae'lon Oglesby, Adam Choice and C.J. Fuller - may bring just what's needed to take the Tigers there.

With a bit of Auburn-esque help from their friends up front, of course.

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Comments » 24

TigerFan95 writes:

If what we saw last night with Auburn is Morris' goal, then why are we not recruiting more O linemen?

Kendall writes:

I just smiled as I read that last paragraph. What a great future the Clemson offense is going to have!

TigerMarine writes:

in response to TigerFan95:

If what we saw last night with Auburn is Morris' goal, then why are we not recruiting more O linemen?

Amen !!!!! I was thinking the entire SEC championship game "this is Clemson with an offensive line". Hey Tommy, oh oops, Dabo recruit O lineman to go WITH the great skill players. It's like buying a Ferrari, putting the cheapest 87 octane gas u can find in it, and then wondering why you can't get the advertised performance. Or here's the appropriate conventional cliche .... Your only as strong as your weakest link ! Yes on the field its the O-line BUT at some point we must blame the coaches for not fixing the problem. If through better training or recruiting better (and MORE) players or maybe just figuring out how to squeeze a guys full potential out of him. I don't care but like I said eventually it comes down to coaching (like the defensive turnaround with coach V) and were darn close to that point !!! I want Dabo as HC but if he can't continue to improve, if he's taken us as far as he can, then he will need to go.

waran writes:

I think Gus Malzahn did not intentionally teach Chad Morris everything. Guz did not tell Chad that you need an O line to succeed in this type of offense. Guz might have been scared of playing against Chad if he had taught everything. The poor old high school coach is still learning at the College level, Chad will learn to recruit a better O-line in 2016 and beyond. Clemson faithful should wait patiently. I bought all the snake oil Dabo has been selling!!!

lhaselden writes:

"I want Dabo as HC but if he can't continue to improve, if he's taken us as far as he can, then he will need to go."
Good Grief.... guys, when it the last time we won 10 games 3 years in a row. Yes we do need to recruit better OL, we do not need more OL, we are recruiting the numbers. We also need to train them up. and I think Caldwell is doing that as well but we are not their yet. We started a true sophomore a couple of games, last year a true freshman played a lot of snaps against LSU. When our OL are all juniors and seniors I expect them to be better. But I think our main issue this year with rushing attack was injuries at RB not the quality of the OL. But Auburns OL looked great... many of them were recruited during the NC year.

TigerFan95 writes:

in response to lhaselden:

"I want Dabo as HC but if he can't continue to improve, if he's taken us as far as he can, then he will need to go."
Good Grief.... guys, when it the last time we won 10 games 3 years in a row. Yes we do need to recruit better OL, we do not need more OL, we are recruiting the numbers. We also need to train them up. and I think Caldwell is doing that as well but we are not their yet. We started a true sophomore a couple of games, last year a true freshman played a lot of snaps against LSU. When our OL are all juniors and seniors I expect them to be better. But I think our main issue this year with rushing attack was injuries at RB not the quality of the OL. But Auburns OL looked great... many of them were recruited during the NC year.

We are NOT recruiting the numbers we need. We signed only TWO OLineman last year and will sign only TWO this year. How is that recruiting the numbers we need? Sure, we'll likely get 4 or 5 maybe even 6 next year, but thats not how you build consistency. Like most programs, We keep 18-20 o-lineman on scholarship. Common sense says you recruit 5 every year. The ones you recruit this year will be your starters in 3-5 years. Of the 5 you sign, one will be a complete bust and never contribute, two will be career backups and two will start.

Bill61 writes:

Did Morris defeat Malzon two years ago and didn't Clemson almost take mighty Malzon and Auburn down the year Auburn won it all with Cam? Wonder how that happened? Clemson does not have a true zone read QB nor a RB in the same league as Auburn. Not one player other than Sammy on Clemson offense could start for Auburn. Plain and simple, sec vs acc athletes. Dabo controls what recruits come in.

lhaselden writes:

<<We are NOT recruiting the numbers we need. We signed only TWO OLineman last year and will sign only TWO this year. .....We keep 18-20 o-lineman on scholarship. >>
We have 16 OL on scholarship lose 2 and have 2 commits.
Auburn has 17 OL loses 1 and has 1 commit.
Stanford has 18 OL loses 1 ans has 1 commit.

We have over 4 offers out for OTs this year 1 5* 2 4* and a 3* ... I do not think we will take or get all 4 but I have no doubt we will take at least 1 more. My point is that we already have the numbers we need but our 2 highest rates OL over the last 5 recruiting classes 1 had to retire because of back injury and the other has not players.. I think he is too fat or maybe lazy or both? We have always had issues recruiting the highly rated OL. USC did too until they hired the current OL coach. He does a great job of coaching and recruiting.

TigerMarine writes:

I was very exacting with what I said and I did not say he needs to go now but its on the horizon. With the O-line woes we have had for many years 2 OL recruits a year is a joke.

TigerNE writes:

in response to Bill61:

Did Morris defeat Malzon two years ago and didn't Clemson almost take mighty Malzon and Auburn down the year Auburn won it all with Cam? Wonder how that happened? Clemson does not have a true zone read QB nor a RB in the same league as Auburn. Not one player other than Sammy on Clemson offense could start for Auburn. Plain and simple, sec vs acc athletes. Dabo controls what recruits come in.

I agree SEC teams are able to recruit talent ranked higher out of high school, but it's almost silly to suggest only Sammy is "SEC worthy". Martavis Bryant? Mike Williams? Charone Peake????

And on the other side of the ball, how about Vic Beasley who is projected to go high in NFL draft?? Or....well, never mind. I've decided your point wasn't really made seriously.

waran writes:

in response to Bill61:

Did Morris defeat Malzon two years ago and didn't Clemson almost take mighty Malzon and Auburn down the year Auburn won it all with Cam? Wonder how that happened? Clemson does not have a true zone read QB nor a RB in the same league as Auburn. Not one player other than Sammy on Clemson offense could start for Auburn. Plain and simple, sec vs acc athletes. Dabo controls what recruits come in.

I disagree if you are suggesting that we lost to USC because they recruit better players. We have had higher ranked recruiting classes. Many of our players get drafted higher. USC (and many SEC teams) are better coached and better prepared than Clemson. But we have the highest paid coordinators. That should tell you where we go wrong!!!

CUNo1Fan writes:

I've said it all year, said it last year and the year before, and will keep saying it until I see it change. The coaching staff needs to concentrate more on recruiting top notch trench players on both sides of the ball - period.

At some point, Dabo has to realize that if Clemson is to take the next step then there are two things the coaching staff must do and as the head coach, it is his responsibility to lead the way on doing it.

1) You have to win the LOS and preferably dominate the LOS. To do this you have to make it a priority to recruit better trench players. It is just as important (IMO more important) than having great skill players.

2) The coaches have to physically and mentally prepare the team to play. They were not mentally prepared to play either FSU or SCar and it showed in the mistakes they made. A properly prepared mentally tough team that plays with the mentality to physically whip your tail on every single play doesn't make the mistakes the Tigers made in those two games.

Without those mental mistakes, I believe the Tigers still lose to FSU this year but in a close competitive game and would have reversed the score against SCar for a nice W.

tigerrob44 writes:

My question to all that make comments critical of Dabo and the Clemson offensive line is this: Had we not turned the ball over 6 times we would have beaten SC and anybody that saw the game knows that. What would you all be complaining about if we were 11 and 1? And Auburn didn't win a game last year. We won 11. Stop whining and complaining and be thankful and appreciative for a change. Some of you people make me sick. And you more than likely didn't go to Clemson or didn't graduate and may not have ever been to a game at Death Valley.

33dtb writes:

in response to lhaselden:

"I want Dabo as HC but if he can't continue to improve, if he's taken us as far as he can, then he will need to go."
Good Grief.... guys, when it the last time we won 10 games 3 years in a row. Yes we do need to recruit better OL, we do not need more OL, we are recruiting the numbers. We also need to train them up. and I think Caldwell is doing that as well but we are not their yet. We started a true sophomore a couple of games, last year a true freshman played a lot of snaps against LSU. When our OL are all juniors and seniors I expect them to be better. But I think our main issue this year with rushing attack was injuries at RB not the quality of the OL. But Auburns OL looked great... many of them were recruited during the NC year.

Recruiting two (2) O-Linemen per year does NOT add up to a 2 deep proficient O-Line that can maintain the 75+ plays pacewe SAY we want to run.

The math doesn't add up.
and look at the premier running backs we've had w/ no significant yardage !

at some point, we won't be able to get good RBs or even WRs if we can't open lanes or protect QB for more than 2 1/2 seconds to get a pass off.
and what about deep passes ?????

essoclub writes:

@Tigerrrob44 - It's great to see passionate Clemson fans on this board. There are a number of "old school", die-hard Clemson football fans who post here & you really should read some of the posts carefully, because much of the criticism aimed at the H.C. & O.C. is backed up by empirical data that cannot be "spun" or refuted. Many of us did go to Clemson. I was in the class of '95 and I am old enough to remember how we dominated in the 80s. I am assuming that Ford was coaching at Clemson prior to your existence, so let me try & educate you a bit:

Ford's teams ran the ball & played "lights-out" on D. Within his first 2 seasons, Ford's Tigers won the National Championship. Clemson, while unranked in the preseason, beat three top-10 teams (Georgia & UNC) during the 12-0 season that concluded with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska in the '82 Orange Bowl. Ford, named National Coach-of-the-Year in '81, holds the record as the youngest coach (33 years old) to win a national championship (FBS). Clearly, Dabo is not in the same league as Ford.

Here are the problems with the current program and some potential solutions:

(1) O-line: It's inexcusable and it's been a problem for a decade. The A.D. needs to unilaterally decide to hire one of the best O-line recruiters from the SEC and have that person report directly to him, not to the H.C. or the O.C.; those two have proven that they are not interested and/or not capable of focusing on recruiting a stout O-line.

(2) 5 consecutive losses to S. Carolina: Inexcusable. I am not sure if any Clemson coach has survived four straight losses to S.Carolina, prior to Dabo. Next year's game is a "win at all costs" game for the entire coaching staff. We need to run the ball to have a chance at ever beating S. Carolina again (as long as the Visor is still there).

(3) Three straight seasons w/ 10 wins does not amount to a hill of beans if we continue to (a) implode in big games, (b) get "owned" by the 'Ol Ball Coach and (c) get massacred when playing the 'Noles. See points (1) and (2) above for potential solutions.

(4) QB Draw - Inexcusable. Venables has had two seasons to fix this glaring problem. How is it possible that a fast, athletic and stout group of top-tier athletes on the defensive side of the ball cannot contain running QBs? It's a coaching issue and scheme problem.

(5) Pass happy - Inexcusable and it flies in the face of logic that Morris refuses to stick with the run - even when it is working. Forget about the six turnovers against USC this year; if Morris fed McDowell, we would have won. Period. Morris needs to either learn to stick with the run, or take the job at Wake.

(6) Auburn - They did not win a single conference game last year and now they are playing for the national championship. I am confused, if our current administration and coaches are doing such a "bang-up" job, as you passionately argue in your post, how is this possible?

waran writes:

ESSOCLUB: I would like to reply to your email hoping that everyone will read your message for the 2nd time. Yours is the best written explanation of how many of us feel about a program that we love. I hate it when people question my loyalty to Clemson and have learned to ignore it. But when I read your message, I just wanted to say THANK YOU.

TRUETIGER1 writes:

in response to essoclub:

@Tigerrrob44 - It's great to see passionate Clemson fans on this board. There are a number of "old school", die-hard Clemson football fans who post here & you really should read some of the posts carefully, because much of the criticism aimed at the H.C. & O.C. is backed up by empirical data that cannot be "spun" or refuted. Many of us did go to Clemson. I was in the class of '95 and I am old enough to remember how we dominated in the 80s. I am assuming that Ford was coaching at Clemson prior to your existence, so let me try & educate you a bit:

Ford's teams ran the ball & played "lights-out" on D. Within his first 2 seasons, Ford's Tigers won the National Championship. Clemson, while unranked in the preseason, beat three top-10 teams (Georgia & UNC) during the 12-0 season that concluded with a 22-15 victory over Nebraska in the '82 Orange Bowl. Ford, named National Coach-of-the-Year in '81, holds the record as the youngest coach (33 years old) to win a national championship (FBS). Clearly, Dabo is not in the same league as Ford.

Here are the problems with the current program and some potential solutions:

(1) O-line: It's inexcusable and it's been a problem for a decade. The A.D. needs to unilaterally decide to hire one of the best O-line recruiters from the SEC and have that person report directly to him, not to the H.C. or the O.C.; those two have proven that they are not interested and/or not capable of focusing on recruiting a stout O-line.

(2) 5 consecutive losses to S. Carolina: Inexcusable. I am not sure if any Clemson coach has survived four straight losses to S.Carolina, prior to Dabo. Next year's game is a "win at all costs" game for the entire coaching staff. We need to run the ball to have a chance at ever beating S. Carolina again (as long as the Visor is still there).

(3) Three straight seasons w/ 10 wins does not amount to a hill of beans if we continue to (a) implode in big games, (b) get "owned" by the 'Ol Ball Coach and (c) get massacred when playing the 'Noles. See points (1) and (2) above for potential solutions.

(4) QB Draw - Inexcusable. Venables has had two seasons to fix this glaring problem. How is it possible that a fast, athletic and stout group of top-tier athletes on the defensive side of the ball cannot contain running QBs? It's a coaching issue and scheme problem.

(5) Pass happy - Inexcusable and it flies in the face of logic that Morris refuses to stick with the run - even when it is working. Forget about the six turnovers against USC this year; if Morris fed McDowell, we would have won. Period. Morris needs to either learn to stick with the run, or take the job at Wake.

(6) Auburn - They did not win a single conference game last year and now they are playing for the national championship. I am confused, if our current administration and coaches are doing such a "bang-up" job, as you passionately argue in your post, how is this possible?

Awesome post. I am as loyal a TIGER as there is, but there is a job to be done and well paid coaches should be held accountable.

TrevorT writes:

I agree that essoclub has made some excellent points about the current condition of the program. I completely agree with most of them. I especially appreciate the objectivity in not suggesting that everyone should be fired although we have no one to replace them with.
I do take exception to the much repeated idea that a 10 win season is meaningless unless you win every "big" game you play. You don't even have "big" games unless you are winning all the "little" ones. Who would have cared about the FSU game if we had already lost to Syracuse or NC State? Consistency against weaker opposition is the foundation for true success as a program. I'm not saying we should be satisfied with just that, but don't discount it's significance.
As for Auburn, I mean them no disrespect because they have played with serious intensity, but they really are an anomaly.
I think that fact will become plain when they face an FSU team that has been building consistency over the past few season and is now truly dominant. If our Tigers can recruit some serious linemen on both sides of the ball, I think we could quickly get where they are now. GO TIGERS!!!

TrevorT writes:

in response to waran:

I think Gus Malzahn did not intentionally teach Chad Morris everything. Guz did not tell Chad that you need an O line to succeed in this type of offense. Guz might have been scared of playing against Chad if he had taught everything. The poor old high school coach is still learning at the College level, Chad will learn to recruit a better O-line in 2016 and beyond. Clemson faithful should wait patiently. I bought all the snake oil Dabo has been selling!!!

I'm sorry but I have to ask... Are you serious?
Do you honestly believe that a man who has been coaching football his entire adult life and made it as far as he has, cannot comprehend that he needs a good offensive line for his offense to run well. Would Malzahn really need to teach him that? Do you think Forrest Gump is running our offense?
It's so easy for us as fans to say we need great O-linemen, as if a coach can run out to the market and pick up a few.
It's no great secret, everyone knows we need them. It's just a matter of finding them and winning the recruiting battles to bring them to Tigertown. Much easier said than done! But I hope you are very right that Morris is focused on building a better line in the future. I'll just assume the first part of your post was a joke.

essoclub writes:

in response to TrevorT:

I agree that essoclub has made some excellent points about the current condition of the program. I completely agree with most of them. I especially appreciate the objectivity in not suggesting that everyone should be fired although we have no one to replace them with.
I do take exception to the much repeated idea that a 10 win season is meaningless unless you win every "big" game you play. You don't even have "big" games unless you are winning all the "little" ones. Who would have cared about the FSU game if we had already lost to Syracuse or NC State? Consistency against weaker opposition is the foundation for true success as a program. I'm not saying we should be satisfied with just that, but don't discount it's significance.
As for Auburn, I mean them no disrespect because they have played with serious intensity, but they really are an anomaly.
I think that fact will become plain when they face an FSU team that has been building consistency over the past few season and is now truly dominant. If our Tigers can recruit some serious linemen on both sides of the ball, I think we could quickly get where they are now. GO TIGERS!!!

@TrevorT - I hear you, and while a 10-win season is nothing to sneeze at, N.C. State's record was (3-9); they did not win a single ACC game, yet they played us tough, that's for sure. Syracuse finished the season at (6-6); they won 4 conference games. Here are the records of the rest of the ACC teams which Clemson defeated this season:

Wake (4-8)
B.C. (7-5)
Maryland (7-5)
UVA (2-10)
GT (7-5)

Our only signature win on the season was against a solid, albeit definitely not top-tier, Georgia team, who finished the season (8-4).

You mention that Auburn is an anomaly, but I am not sure how you can take this position given that they won the BCS Championship in 2010 and they have found their way right back to the title game three seasons later. They rushed for 300 yards against Bama's "D', arguably one of the best defenses in FBS. En route to hanging 59 points on Mizzou; they racked up 677 total yards & ran the ball to the tune of 545 yards. Auburn had 74 rushing attempts against Mizzou. To put that in perspective, Clemson ran the ball 41 times against FSU & 29 times against S. Carolina.

As much respect as I have for FSU, when they face a battle-tested Auburn team, they will be seeing a legitimately high powered offense for the first time this season. The 'Noles, who have not been challenged at all this season, will have their work cut out for them. Do we really think FSU's "D" is better than 'Bama's "D"? All that being said, I guess we will find out soon enough.

TrevorT writes:

I'm not saying Auburn isn't a solid, well coached team. But let's not forget that they are two miracle plays and several other very fortunate plays away from a very average season. That's why I view them as an anomaly. I felt the same way about Notre Dame last year, although I'll admit that Auburn is better than they were. I may be wrong, but I think Auburn's luck runs out against the Noles.

waran writes:

in response to TrevorT:

I'm sorry but I have to ask... Are you serious?
Do you honestly believe that a man who has been coaching football his entire adult life and made it as far as he has, cannot comprehend that he needs a good offensive line for his offense to run well. Would Malzahn really need to teach him that? Do you think Forrest Gump is running our offense?
It's so easy for us as fans to say we need great O-linemen, as if a coach can run out to the market and pick up a few.
It's no great secret, everyone knows we need them. It's just a matter of finding them and winning the recruiting battles to bring them to Tigertown. Much easier said than done! But I hope you are very right that Morris is focused on building a better line in the future. I'll just assume the first part of your post was a joke.

Trevor, I was trying to be funny, and I thought it was obvious from my previous posts. I definitely did not buy any snake oil from Dabo.

However, I doubt recruiting a good O-line is more difficult than recruiting a good WR. We have recruited good WR in recent years. Then why cant we recruit a good O-line? Similarly, I doubt recruiting a good O-line to Clemson became more difficult overnight after Danny Ford left. I think it is a question of priority (time and effort) and the type of football that you want to play. The current Clemson Coaching staff have a different priority and a different type of football in their mind. It is more fun when it works than the slow moving running game. But is not going to win championships. We need a better balance. I am not advocating for a change in the coaching staff. I am advocating for a change in the type of football we play...more power football that we used to do in the 80s.

Brucepg2000 writes:

We have the players we need. We did not and have not committed to the run in anything other than a predictable fashion when playing SC. We committed vs LSU and GA. SEC teams can't seem to stop running quarterbacks either by the way. Ask Alabama which were the only types of QB's to beat them the last few years. I think the coach Venables is doing a heck of a job. Everybody saw the OC panic and it spread to the offensive side of the ball. Players trust the coaches but the coaches have not shown a great deal of trust in the OL and RB vs SC and FSU. They can tell when the coaches severely shorten the rotations and alter the play calling. We win or lose with the line but there has to be trust.... both ways!

TrevorT writes:

in response to waran:

Trevor, I was trying to be funny, and I thought it was obvious from my previous posts. I definitely did not buy any snake oil from Dabo.

However, I doubt recruiting a good O-line is more difficult than recruiting a good WR. We have recruited good WR in recent years. Then why cant we recruit a good O-line? Similarly, I doubt recruiting a good O-line to Clemson became more difficult overnight after Danny Ford left. I think it is a question of priority (time and effort) and the type of football that you want to play. The current Clemson Coaching staff have a different priority and a different type of football in their mind. It is more fun when it works than the slow moving running game. But is not going to win championships. We need a better balance. I am not advocating for a change in the coaching staff. I am advocating for a change in the type of football we play...more power football that we used to do in the 80s.

Gotcha. Like I said I was assuming you must be kidding. Anyway, I completely agree that linemen should be a priority in our recruiting. No one wins a championship without a great line. But great linemen want to play for great teams with great offenses. For them it means better exposure and better placement in the NFL draft. With that being said, I can understand the philosophy of going after the flashy skill guys first, building a reputation for offense, and using that to attract the big time O-linemen. I hope that's what we see happening at Clemson, and I hope it works.

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