Chad Morris: Tigers played 'cut-and-paste,' kept plugging against LSU defense

'It was a great job by those guys out there battling. They whipped us sometimes, and we knew that was going to happen'

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris gestures during the fourth quarter at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at the Georgie Dome in Atlanta, Ga.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris gestures during the fourth quarter at the Chick-Fil-A Bowl at the Georgie Dome in Atlanta, Ga.

When all was said and done, maybe for the first time in his two-year run as Clemson's offensive coordinator, Chad Morris was a satisfied man.

Were the Tigers perfect?

Far from it. Every yard, every first down, every assignment was a struggle. That's what happens when you play a defense like LSU's.

But as he looked at Clemson's end-of-the-game offensive bottom line - 34 fourth-quarter snaps, 200 yards, 12 unanswered points - Morris saw much of his vision for the Tigers' offense realized.

The Tigers, from the start, had their work cut out for them. Sammy Watkins, around whom Morris had built his game plan to attack LSU, went down on the second snap of the game with an ankle injury and spent the rest of the evening on crutches.

"We knew we'd have some adversity hit us in the face, but we didn't know it would be on the second play," Morris said. "We had a huge game plan built around Sammy, so we had to do a lot of cut-and-paste adjusting."

Shortly afterwards, the Tigers lost right tackle Gifford Timothy to injury. His replacement, Shaq Anthony, didn't make the trip because of academic issues. Joe Gore got the first chance, but struggled. Isaiah Battle then got the call, as Morris and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell moved Brandon Thomas to right tackle. Battle, too, had his troubles.

"Early, we couldn't get anything going," Morris said. "Isaiah Battle sort of got into a couple of series where he struggled to get out of a tailspin. We just told him 'hey, there's a lot of football left to be played. Stick with it and we'll keep pushing. We'll make it happen.'"

It wasn't always pretty.

"It was a great job by those guys out there battling," Morris said. "They whipped us sometimes, and we knew that was going to happen."

Morris said he tried to get the ball out of Tajh Boyd's hands as quickly as possible.

"We didn't want to hold it long," he said. "We wanted to take some (deep) shots, but to do that, we had to max-protect. And they got us on max-protect a couple of times right before the half. Against a great defense, you're going to win some and lose some of those."

Morris said the Tigers kept pushing, and eventually the pace of the game began to pay off.

"We snapped the ball 100 times tonight," Morris said. "I thought tempo was a big advantage for us. I think everybody could see that."

Bottom line - a satisfied offensive coordinator.

"What a great job our guys did against a great defense," Morris said. "We knew that with the caliber of defense we were facing, it was going to take every down and every bit of effort that we had to get this thing going."

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Comments » 2

Bigboots writes:

Battle played as well or better than Giff Timothy. Giff was getting worked over before he went out with an injury.
He has a lot of work to do to get better. I think he has potential, but he was a disappointment.

Clemorange writes:

Can you have one good thing to say please?

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