Pressure release plan

Tajh Boyd

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Chad Morris entered the week with plans of making life a little more manageable for Tajh Boyd.

With the loss to Florida State, a bum ankle and the allegations of a gambling debt, Boyd already had enough on his plate. So Morris scaled things back for the Maryland game.

"We wanted to take some pressure off Tajh," Morris said. "That was the whole thing, to get him to play loose and to play comfortable. That was a theme all week. We were going to take just about everything off of him, about as much as we could, and let him go play."

Clemson rolled up 551 yards of total offense on 98 plays from scrimmage in the 40-27 win. Had it not been for the four red zone field goals, there would have been a lot more than 40 on the scoreboard.

The Tigers also set a season-high with 247 yards rushing. A good night on the ground was integral in helping to ensure that the plan went as planned.

"If we do this, we're going to have to run the football, be physical at the point of attack. Those guys did a good job of that," Morris said.

The red zone results weren't really an indicator. Out of the eight trips inside the Maryland 20, Clemson kicked four field goals.

"There are so many things that we've got to get better at," Morris said. "But to come off of an emotional loss at the magnitude that we lost last week, to see these guys bounce back like they did -- that was the thing all week long, coach [Dabo] Swinney was preaching bounce back -- that was good to see.

"We've got to keep getting better. We've got to eliminate drops. Drops keep coming up. We're getting better. A big step this past week, very good to see our guys respond the way they did."

Once again, turnovers were an issue. Clemson fumbled three times, two of which were lost. Boyd also threw an interception.

The lost fumbles, both of which were deep in the Tigers' own territory, resulted in a pair of field goals for the Terps.

"We put them in a tough spot," Morris said, when asked about the Clemson defense. "Those guys are our first responders. They take great pride. It didn't matter where they were on the field.

"We can't put our defense in that position, not with back-to-back fumbles on back-to-back plays."

Fortunately, for Clemson, it didn't result in a second loss in as many weeks.

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