Mondays with Morris
Watkins is back after serving his suspension for an offseason arrest. Without him, Clemson is 19th in the country in total offense and 27th in scoring.
"I think he gives you another dimension. Obviously, we've seen that," Morris said.
With Florida State looming a week after the Furman game, Morris plans to get Watkins involved as possible over the next five days.
"He's got to get in and get his work in," Morris said. "We've got to get him up the speed and the timing right on a lot of things. I anticipate Sammy playing as if he would in a normal situation.
"We've got to get some good, quality reps in with Sammy, up to game speed."
The suspension afforded Morris the opportunity feature some of the other wide receivers from the Tigers' talented pool.
"You've had Nuk [Hopkins], which has had two really good games. Charone Peake had a really good game. Adam [Humphries] has had a lot of catches…it's going to give us a lot more depth, going to be a lot more of our arsenal in, and make us a lot more explosive, in my opinion," he said.
TEMPO, TEMPO, TEMPO: If you've blinked while Clemson's possessed the ball this season, you probably missed something. They're operating at a break neck pace, running plays at faster pace than they did in year one with the hurry-up, no-huddle.
Clemson's run 171 plays from scrimmage this season. There are only eight teams with more: Marshall, Oregon, Arkansas State, Syracuse, Indiana, Houston, Nevada and Arizona.
Morris has heard plenty of complaints has heard complaints from media types trying take notes or call the game for TV or radio.
"We're doing our job if we're making you guys a little tough right there, trying to take stats," Morris said. "That's kind of our number one goal right there."
All joking aside, that is exactly what they want: as many plays as possible.
"We're snapping the ball with 30 seconds on the clock. Then, we'll snap it with 22 on the clock," Morris said.
After each game, Morris shows his players examples of the tempo wearing down the opponent. There were about 10 from the Ball State game.
Hands on the hips are usually a good indication.
"Our guys are taking a lot of pride in that. They're really aware of the number of snaps that we're taking in the first half and the first quarter," Morris said. "They're asking, ‘Coach, how many snaps have already taken?'"
YOUTH IS SERVED: Morris had the luxury of playing a lot of reserves in the second half last weekend.
"We've got good evaluation tape on those guys. That's good to see," Morris said.
Freshman running back Zac Brooks carried seven times for nine yards and caught one pass for two yards.
"I think he had 20-something snaps -- 22, something in there," Morris said. "He had one mental mistake, which was going the wrong way. It was good. It was good to see him catch a ball. It was good to see him run the football.
"He, too, like a lot of those younger guys up front, he hit a wall. You try to pull them through it."
Freshman tackles Shaq Anthony, Isaiah Battle and Joe Gore all ran into the same wall at some point during the preseason.
"Isaiah Battle, Joe Gore, those are guys you saw a lot of promise in that are going to be really good ball players here. They're not there now," Morris said. "To reassure what we've seen in fall camp, they're not there yet, but they're going to be OK. They've got to let us coach them hard through the course of the week."
Anthony started at right tackle in place of Gifford Timothy, who was sidelined with a knee injury.
"Looking back on film [Anthony's] got to get more physical, from a run blocking standpoint," Morris said. "Again, those are things that we've seen. It's not like they all of a sudden showed up."
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