Thursday, July 14, 2011
Coaching em' up: Clemson
By ESPN.com staff
We continue the series today that takes a look at one assistant from each team who will be in the spotlight this fall:
Coach: Chad Morris
Position: Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks
Experience: Morris came to Clemson after one season as offensive coordinator at Tulsa. Tulsa’s offense ranked 13th in the nation in passing offense with 288.7 yards per game and 15th in rushing offense with 216.9 yards per game under Morris. Their 505.6 yards of total offense per game ranked fifth-best in the nation. Tulsa was the only school in the nation to rank in the top 15 in the nation in both rushing offense and passing offense. Prior to coming to Tulsa, Morris won 82 percent of his games as a high school coach in the state of Texas. He led Lake Travis High School to back-to-back 16-0 state championship seasons. He won three state titles and played in six state championship games in his high school career.
Of note: Last year, Tulsa averaged 41.4 points per game. Clemson averaged 24. Last year, Clemson ran 866 plays. Tulsa ran 1,008 in the same number of games. Head coach Dabo Swinney said that’s about three more games worth of plays. If this change is going to work, the Tigers must work quickly.
“If I let them go slow, they’re going to go slow,” Morris told ESPN.com this spring. “I refuse to do that.”
His challenge: To produce Tulsa numbers at Clemson with a first-year starting quarterback while implementing an entirely new offensive philosophy. All eyes will be on Morris and quarterback Tajh Boyd this fall, as their success will be integral to Clemson’s chances of winning the Atlantic Division. How quickly they adjust to the up-tempo, no-huddle, spread offense will determine their fate, and there is little time on the schedule to work out any kinks. Clemson faces defending national champion Auburn in Week 3 and follows that with back-to-back games against defending ACC division champs Florida State and Virginia Tech.