By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- Over the past four years, there have only been four Sundays where Clemson Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris has woken up with the bad taste in his mouth coming from a loss. Last Sunday was one of those days after the Tigers were defeated by ACC rival Georgia Tech.
“I was definitely disappointed in the loss,” Morris said on Monday. “Losing is never an option, it’s unacceptable. We play to win, winning is the name of the game here at Clemson.”
Although he was disappointed in the loss, along with the rest of Clemson’s coaching staff and players, he’s been impressed with the players and how they’ve moved past their first loss of the season and are making sure that what happened at Georgia Tech doesn’t happen again for the Tigers if they can help it.
“Practice during the bye week wasn’t doom and gloom,” Morris said. “The players came out last week ready to work and improve, they were resilient, continued to ask me questions on how they can get better, practice last week was more about ourselves and how we can improve and get back to what Clemson does best.”
Clemson was without their star running back Andre Ellington against Georgia Tech, and although young running backs Mike Bellamy and DJ Howard played their hearts out for the Tigers against the Jackets, it was clear that Morris and the offensive players missed having #23 on the field rather than watching from the sidelines. However this week, it won’t be the case.
“Andre is absolutely playing against Wake Forest this weekend,” Morris said. “He was limited in practice last week but he’ll work out this week and will be rocking and rolling by Saturday.”
Although both Bellamy and Howard fumbled the ball against the Yellow Jackets, Morris was pleased with the way they played.
“Ball security is huge, so it’s something we’ll continue to coach in practice,” Morris said. “Our young backs proved that they can play against Georgia Tech so you’ll continue to see them.”
One way Clemson’s winning has helped the program this season is through recruiting according to Morris.
“We’ve gotten a lot of national exposure this season,” Morris said. “Winning is the best recruiting tool you can ever have. Young guys are watching players like Sammy do what he’s doing here at Clemson, that’s a huge advantage for us because it shows them that as a freshman they can make a big impact right away in this offense.”
When asked if he was going to continue to install his offense this week at practice, Morris was quick to answer.
“Sometimes as a coach, the worst thing you can do is add,” Morris said. “We’ve had success offensively but we’ve got to realize that this isn’t a game of how many plays are in our play book, it’s a game of executing. We’re going to do a few things that people haven’t seen against Wake Forest, but we’ve got to go back to doing what the Tigers do best.”
Morris hopes to get quarterback Tajh Boyd more involved in the offense this week, especially in the running game.
“Against Tech, Tajh was trying to get Mike and DJ lined up and sometimes when you worry about what others are doing around you, you forget your reads,” Morris said. “Mike and DJ did a good job knowing where they needed to be as far as blocking goes so we’ve now got to get Tajh more involved.”