Morris: Boyd, playmaking receivers have Tigers playing 'best ball'

Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu pursues Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Georgia Tech defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu pursues Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd.

CLEMSON - When Sammy Watkins is on, Chad Morris' offense is hard to stop.

Add Tajh Boyd's arm and 6-5 speedy Martavis Bryant to the mix and the Tigers are on another level, as Georgia Tech found out Thursday night.

In an 11-of-11 first-half stretch passing, the Clemson senior gunslinger completed connections of 47 and 76 yards to Bryant and 41 to Watkins with three touchdowns and 243 yards total.

Five of his 20 completions went for over 30 yards, while the junior Tiger receivers averaged 23.3 yards per every target.

"What you see is a quarterback, when he's hitting on those passes and he's got receivers making plays for him - his confidence is shooting through the roof," Morris said. "He's just playing with great confidence and he feels he can make very throw and the receivers are going to make the catches.

Clemson 55, GT 31

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"Because the catches Martavis Bryant made – it wasn't like he was wide-open. He was making some unbelievable catches in some critical situations. That was good to see. I was very much impressed."

On the season now, Boyd ranks second nationally in 40-yard connections (14) and fourth in 30-yard hits (22).

Thursday night, he set the all-time ACC touchdown pass record (97) and the Clemson mark for completions (830), and a third-quarter run pushed him over the top as the only player in ACC history to top 10,000 career passing yards and 1,000 rushing. Morris couldn't be happier for his three-year starter.

"When they announced (the record), I wanted to back away from him - it was all about him," said Morris. "He kind of looked over at me and I saw he kind of had tears in his eyes. I just told him how proud I was of him. What a great accomplishment."

More from Morris on the Tigers' offensive night...

Isaiah Battle getting the start at right tackle: I'm very impressed and intrigued with Isaiah. He's had some good work week over the last couple weeks and provides such great athleticism. He's one of the best athletes we have. That was good to see. We'll have to watch the film on him to see how he responds. He gives us a little bit of an edge, which is good to see.

Martavis Bryant's big game: You're seeing him get better every week. The confidence you see and Tajh believing and trusting in him and he made a great catch against Virginia a couple weeks ago. To see those guys come together right now, we're playing our best football right now.

It goes back to the confidence and trust Tajh has in him. That's something that Tajh and Nuk (Hopkins) had. That was something that we had been missing, especially early in the year. That position is so important just for the trust and knowing where your guy is going to be. You're seeing that really come on and it's good to see Martavis really have the success he had. He made some unbelievable catches in traffic.

Offense responded to Morris' challenge: Mike Williams was another one. A lot guys were making plays and we were able to run the ball in the second half, which was a big challenge. At halftime, I wasn't real happy with how we ran the ball, even though we had scored some points, I wanted us to come out and execute and run the football and I challenge our guys and it was really good to see them step up.

Tigers made the most of opportunities: They were coming in only averaging 67 snaps a game. We knew our opportunities were going to be limited and our defense did a great job getting the ball back to us, creating some three-and-out opportunities for us. For us to be able to execute and hit on some big plays was critical for us. You knew we were going to be limited, but we had to take advantage of every opportunity we got.

Clemson offense playing its best: It shows that we're playing our best ball right now. These guys are playing with great confidence and going to get a little bit of a weekend off and this next week - we're 9-1, but it's about finishing. That's the stress point to these guys. We have to finish the month of November and it starts one day at a time.

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