Offense searching for answers

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The offensive struggles that have plagued the Tigers in recent weeks, went nowhere Saturday night against the Gamecocks.

For a second week in a row, Clemson's offense stumbled early and often.

Chad Morris' once prolific system was limited to just 153 yards on 60 plays to rival South Carolina.

Tajh Boyd, Clemson's single-season record holder for touchdown passes and touchdowns accounted for, completed 11 of 30 passes for 83 yards with a touchdown and an interception during Saturday night's 34-13 loss.

"We had some opportunities to make some plays," Morris said. "We didn't make plays, which might have changed the outcome early on."

Meanwhile the Gamecocks sacked Boyd five times.

"Once they hit him a little bit early -- that's one of the comments I made. He was getting in his drop and then hunkering down. He was feeling it. That's something he hasn't done this year," Morris said.

Starting left tackle Phillip Price, who sat out last week's game with a knee injury, started and played the first two series against, but was sidelined the rest of the game.

"We felt like Phillip could go," Morris said. "He went all week long. We get out there those first couple of series and the speed of the game was entirely too much.

"The speed with the power off of it. He couldn't withhold. He couldn't hold up."

Neither could Boyd, who's struggling to find the confidence level he played with in the first eight games of the season.

"We're working with him. At some point in time, you've just got to go play. You've got to go do what your athleticism and your God-given talent's given you the ability to do," Morris said.

"We've all seen what he can do. We wouldn't have won nine games without him, but we're not playing at that level. He's not playing at that level. We all know that. Haven't been for a few weeks. We've got to try to get that back.

"What does that mean? I don't know at this stage in the game right now. He's frustrated with it. We've got to get his confidence level back."

The first-year offensive coordinator said there was some good to take from the loss.

Andre Ellington rushed 13 times for 66 yards. Mike Bellamy also carried three times for 19 yards.

"We ran the ball well tonight. We did do that. I thought that was a plus, a positive. We've got to build on that," Morris said.

As tough as it may be to move on, the Tigers have another big game to get up for next week.

Clemson will face Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game with the winner heading on to the BCS.

"This hurts. These men in there are hurting right now, really, really bad. But they're not quitters. They're not going to give up. I can promise you that," Morris said. Top Stories