Borrowing a page from the playbook of Danny Ford, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is sending his Tigers back to the basics in the aftermath of their big-game flop against Florida State.
While the 'basics' employed by Swinney and offensive coordinator Chad Morris might differ somewhat from those of Clemson's legendary coach, the concept of simplification is the same.
"I've told our guys that we're going to major in the minors this week - stance, starts, footwork, ball-handling," said Swinney at his weekly press conference on Tuesday. "We're going to go back and treat it like they don't know anything.
"We have a lot of guys know a lot of football, offensively. But it's the little things that lead to the big things. Sometimes you overlook the little things."
Swinney said the Tigers need to improve their red-zone efficiency and "be the kind of third-down team that I know we are."
A heavy emphasis will be placed on ball security. The Tigers turned the ball over four times against Florida State, after losing it just four times in their first six games.
"None of it matters if you don't take care of the football," Swinney said. "We've had a bad little run here the last few games. We can't give anybody the ball four times and expect to win, and certainly not against a team like Florida State."
Morris said on Monday that no one on the offense except left tackle Brandon Thomas is playing well, and that the Tigers are struggling to execute their most basic attack.
Swinney said Tuesday that Morris might have been "a little over the top" in his comments.
"What's the saying? 'You don't throw the baby out with the wash,'" Swinney said. "We're doing some good things, and we have some guys who are playing good football. But from Chad's point of view, he's a perfectionist and a competitor, and we haven't had the consistency he wants to see.
"It's been more than one thing, and the little things are where we're messing up."
Swinney said that experience, consistency and football intelligence should be "a competitive advantage" for Clemson's offense.
"We have to go back and retool those guys," he said. "We've been doing a lot of calculus, so let's go back and do some arithmetic. This is a hurt football team right now. But we're going to be OK because they care."
Swinney said that while this week's focus "is all about Clemson," upcoming opponent Maryland poses some problems, in part because of lineup uncertainty.
The Terps, who won their first five games before losing their last two by a combined score of 97-10, lost half their defensive secondary before the first game and then lost their top two receivers - Stefon Diggs and Deon Long - last week.
Quarterback C.J. Brown, who had a field day against the Tigers two years ago, is still working back into form after suffering a concussion, and is listed as the co-starter with Greer, S.C. native Caleb Rowe. Both quarterbacks suffered ACL injuries last season.
“They're 5-2, are have a good season, and they've got it headed in the right direction," Swinney said. "They're coming off a tough loss in their last game, and, like us, they didn't play well. But they're undefeated at home, and we know how tough of a place that is to win. A couple of years ago we needed a great comeback to beat them.
"Just like I tell our guys every week, when we come to town we're going to get a great crowd and a great effort. We have to match that.”
Swinney said the Tigers are "eager to go play again."
"Any time you lose, you'd like to go out and play again tomorrow," Swinney said. "We have to wait a week to go play and show that we're better than we played the other night."