By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
According to offensive coordinator Chad Morris, there is Brandon Thomas and then there is the rest of the offense. And though that is a complement to Clemson’s All-ACC left tackle, it’s not good for the offense overall.
The ninth-ranked Tigers, who will travel to Maryland this coming Saturday, have struggled to show any consistency in their last two games, including in last week’s loss to second-ranked Florida State.
“Our effort is there. We are playing hard,” Thomas said Monday.
Clemson might be playing hard, but the results are not showing up on the field. The Tigers rushing numbers continue to decline after they gained only 123 yards and averaged 3.0 yards per carry in the loss to Florida State. The Seminoles sacked quarterback Tajh Boyd four times and harassed him a bunch more. Plus, the wide receivers dropped six passes.
With guys like Andre Ellington and DeAndre Hopkins now in the NFL, it appears the Tigers have yet to find anyone outside of Boyd and wide receiver Sammy Watkins to step up and make plays.
Morris has even said he has scaled things down and runs a base offense because of all the inconsistences.
“They give us the plays to run, and it is our job to execute them and this past Saturday we didn’t,” Thomas said.
The thing is, according to Thomas, the Tigers (6-1, 4-1 ACC) are making mistakes during the game that they are not making in practice, which adds to the frustration even more.
“We have been having good practices and there have been no mistakes, but somehow it happens,” he said. “It somehow happened this past Saturday, but we will get it fixed.”
The key for Clemson is to first learn from the mistakes of the last two weeks, especially the FSU game, and then move on. The goal for guys like Thomas, Boyd and the rest of the seniors is to make sure the Florida State loss doesn’t beat them for a second time.
“We are going to have to,” he said. “It is going to be a focused thing. We have to get it through to our younger guys that the season is not over. We have to stay focused and try to finish strong. We can go to a BCS game, who knows? Anything can happen. We have five or six weeks left so anything can happen.”
Thomas said the team’s focus turned to Maryland right after the game in the locker room.
“Right then and there, we needed to let those young guys know,” Thomas said. “’Don’t put your head too down. You fought hard, but things just did not go our way. This season is not over.’”
“We will be focused. We will.”