By Ashley Denny.
CLEMSON, SC- Last season, the first year under Offensive Coordinator Chad Morris’s system, Clemson looked like a completely different team with an up tempo offense that several opponents couldn’t keep contained. Well according to starting center Dalton Freeman, 2012 will be no different, in fact the pace of the offense has gotten even faster if imaginable.
After Monday’s scrimmage, Freeman spoke with members of the media about what encouraged him from the team’s first scrimmage and also voiced his disappointment in the offense’s short yardage game.
“We had a great tempo,” Freeman said. “It was probably one of the best days tempo wise that we’ve had yet this spring. Really about as fast as we were going at the best point last year, so we’re really pleased with our tempo.”
The biggest disappointment of the day for Freeman was the goal line problems the Tigers’ faced throughout the scrimmage.
“That was the biggest disappointment of the day,” he said. “We moved the ball pretty well, did pretty well with ball security. But then we did some short yardage stuff at the end and the twos did very well but our ones we struggled. We’ve just got to get a different mentality and get a little more movement. I can’t pinpoint exactly why we were struggling I’ll have to go back and watch the film, we’ll go through it with pretty good detail but we were 1-4 on goal line, 3rd a goal from the 2 and fourth and goal form the 1. It’s disappointing when you can’t get a yard, especially in a situation like that where there’s nothing to lose just go out there and push for a yard.”
Although Freeman was disappointed with the offense’s mentality in those situations, he did note that they also made some pretty great plays throughout Monday’s scrimmage as well.
“We did some pretty good things,” he said. “We moved the ball up and down the field, the tempo was great but we’ve just got to continue to work on the little things.”
When looking back to this point last season, Freeman realizes just how far ahead the Tigers’ are offensively under Morris.
“We’re so much farther ahead with the offense than we were last season,” Freeman said. “Our tempo is killing the defense, we actually had to wait on the referees today. I can’t say enough about how fast we’re moving the ball and how much of an advantage that will give us.”
Freeman believes that the Tigers will continue to work on short yardage situations, which were their weak spot last season as they only completed about 60% of 3rd and 1 situations.
“We’re just going to have more competitive reps,” Freeman said. “We’re going to have a lot more competitive work and good on good work, that’s the only way we can get better is to practice. When it gets down to changing blocking schemes and all that, it gets simple it’s your scholarship against his scholarship and who’s the bigger man.”