Spreading the wealth

CLEMSON - It's no secret that Chad Morris wants to run upwards of 80 plays a game during his first year as offensive coordinator at Clemson.

In his only season at Tulsa, he engineered the nation's fifth-best offense to the tune of 505.62 yards a game. The Golden Hurricane were 15th in rushing with 216.92 yards per game.

Morris' offense ran 537 rushing plays, which resulted in a total of 2,820 yards and 32 touchdowns.

Quarterback G.J Kinne carried 158 times for 561 yards and seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Damaris Johnson had 55 carries for 560 yards and seven scores.

Four running backs finished with at least 40 carries.

Alex Singleton rushed 87 times for 399 yards and 11 touchdowns. Trey Watts had 62 carries for 197 yards and a touchdown. Ja'Terian Douglas carried 43 times for 335 yards and three touchdowns. Charles Clay had 34 carries for 226 yards.

Andre Ellington will occupy the feature-back role while Mike Bellamy continues to look like the second option. Roderick McDowell, D.J. Howard and Demont Buice are also in the mix for touches behind Ellington.

"Everybody's got a role," Morris said his running backs. "That's important. Everybody knows Andre can't play 80 snaps, so everybody is going to have to fit their role."

He added that Ellington, who's coming off of a late-season foot injury in 2010, isn't quite fit enough ready to carry the ball 20-25 times a game. That, of course, could change as Ellington continues to work back into game shape.

"You may see three, four, five plays in a row, we're on a long drive, Andre's in there," Morris said. "Then, the next thing you know, there's two plays where he's out -- somebody else is spelling him for a couple of snaps, and he comes back in."

As evidenced by Tulsa's two leading runners last season, there will be a few other ball carriers with a significant number of rushes from other positions.

Tajh Boyd will tote the ball on a variety of option and zone-read plays. The same goes for Sammy Watkins and the other wide receivers on option runs and end-around plays. Even Dwayne Allen, the starter at the 3-back position, could register carries.

"One thing you're going to find out in this offense, it gets the ball to play-makers. It scatters the ball," Morris said.

And there's going to be a healthy distribution of touches between the running backs.

"We've got a good group of backs. You're going to be able to mix guys in there, like Bellamy and Buice, D.J. and those guys. Everybody's going to have a role," Morris said. "Somebody may only carry the ball three times [on average], but that's OK. That's your role. That's what you do."

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