Chad Morris' difference-maker: Tigers push the tempo, LSU has no answer

Les Miles: 'There's young men in there that are spent....One team played a hundred plays on defense and one team played 50'

Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins catches a fourth and 16 yard  pass for a first down during the fourth quarter at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at the Georgie Dome in Atlanta, Ga.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins catches a fourth and 16 yard pass for a first down during the fourth quarter at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at the Georgie Dome in Atlanta, Ga.

Tempo, anyone?

Thanks, but no thanks, says LSU coach Les Miles, whose defense simply ran out of gas against a Clemson offense that ran 100 plays - 50 passes and 50 rushes - and averaged nearly six yards on each of 34 fourth-quarter snaps.

As Clemson's Tigers marched for their game-winning field goal, TV commentators groused about LSU's stoppages and apparent attempts to slow down the game.

Miles took offense.

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"You think they were upset - how about the coach who said that they were cramping, a hundred plays, what a miserable event for them," said Miles. "They were the guys in pain, okay?

"There was no advantage to LSU to lay down on the ground there and allow them to gather their play and call their play with no duress. It was certainly not a ploy in any way. They can get upset all they want. The reality of it is, one team played a hundred plays on defense and one team played 50."

For Chad Morris, the game unfolded as the epitome of pace-driven football.

"We snapped the ball a hundred times tonight," said Morris. "I thought tempo was a big advantage for us. I think that's something everybody could see."

Morris said it was essential, even playing from behind, that the Tigers continued to mix the run with the pass.

"We couldn't let ourselves get into just a straight passing situation with those guys," Morris said. "We had to keep mixing it up."

"Clemson did the things they needed to do to win," said Miles. "I went into a locker room where there was a group of men that really just played a hundred plays, gave everything they had, and with an opponent who really snapped the ball about 50 times more than our offense, they had to kick a last minute field goal to beat us.

"Our defense played their butt off. There's young men in there that are spent, gave everything they had. To me, I'm really proud of them. Thought they played as hard as they could have."

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