Morris: 'A tale of two halves'

Chad Morris

CLEMSON - Offensive coordinator Chad Morris shares his thoughts after Clemson's 27-17 loss to South Carolina on Saturday night.



What did their defense do to you?
Morris: It was a tale of two halves, to be honest with you. I think, the first half, we had everything like we wanted it. We had great tempo. I thought we were playing at a high level. I thought, the second half, we came out, obviously, we were limited on opportunities. We had to make sure that some of our plays hit, some of our stuff that we were taking, our shots -- we had a few drops in there. With the opportunities that were limited with us, we didn't capitalize on them. I thought they got a little bit more pressure on Tajh [Boyd] in the second half. That's it. That's kind of what it was.

Sammy [Watkins] and [DeAndre] Hopkins didn't get as many touches as they normally do. Was that their defense?
Morris: I think you go back it's a tale of two halves. You had 40-something snaps in the first half, then you're limited in the second half with it. You had a couple of three-and-outs in there. It wasn't by design. We were trying to get those guys involved. There were several times when we were rushed, had to step up. Tajh had to try to get out of some pressure.

What was Clowney doing to cause as much havoc as he was?
Morris: I thought we did a pretty good job the first half with him. I think, obviously, in the second half, it was just speed rush. We were sliding our front into him and making a move on us. We were putting two guys on him. That's the way he's played all year long. It wasn't anything we didn't anticipate. He was going to go. I thought Brandon [Thomas] did a good job in the first half on him. So he got to us right there at the end.

Any sense of frustration sink in during the second half and affect you guys at all?
Morris: They were all frustrated in the second half. You're trying to make something, trying to create some opportunities for you. Obviously, Jaron Brown caught a ball up the sidelines, kind of gave us a spark. But we opened up and went three-and-out on The Opening drive for us in the second half. We felt like we were running the ball effectively in the first half. That was kind of our plan, starting the second half, to come out running the ball. It was what it was. The opportunities weren't there. We just had to continue to keep pushing.

How do you re-energize and get this team to refocus?
Morris: You can't, our seniors, you hurt for these seniors. They've done a lot of great things for this program. Those things won't be overshadowed, some of the success that they've achieved in their four years here. Obviously, not winning the state championship over the last four years certainly hurts. It hurts them. It hurts us all. We all feel it. We all have got to live with it. We understand that. I think, you re-group, you try to send these seniors out with a bowl win.

Is it hard to even evaluate your offense when you're only on the field for 59 snaps?
Morris: It's hard to get anything going at that point. We had the ball 20 minutes. That's what we had. It's hard to get any rhythm at all going. Again, they're battling. You've got to try, each drive you've got to be perfect. The first drive was three-and-out. If we would have known it would come out like that, that fourth-down, instead of us kicking a field goal, we would have went for it on fourth-and-2.

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