Missed opportunities irritate Morris

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The 37-point, 400-plus yard performance by the Clemson offense looks good on paper, especially against a stout Florida State defense.

It was the result that disappointed Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, not the stats. Below, the second-year assistant talks about Saturday night's loss.

Coach, y'all got out to a hot start putting points on the board, then lost momentum.
Morris: We did. It was late third, early fourth where we put up a streak there of three series of three-and-outs. We had a penalty that called back a long pass. We knew it was going to be a battle. It was going to be a slugfest in there. They were going to get some and we were going to get some. Obviously, with that three series stretch, I'm disappointed. We were trying to make some plays over there.

I thought they fought hard. I thought they fought extremely hard. You've got to give credit to Florida State. They're a good football team. We knew what kind of defense we were going against. We were going to have to play well, fight hard and play hard, play physical. There were some times in there I wish we could have had it back, could have had it a little different. Our guys played hard.

Is it frustrating scoring 37 points and putting up over 400 yards and not winning?
Morris: No, losing's frustrating. It doesn't matter. Our job is to get one more point than they got. That's what's frustrating for us. We felt like we had opportunities. We had missed opportunities in there. We should have capitalized.

Were you surprised they didn't get tired?
Morris: I think what you saw was their depth. We knew that coming in. it was nothing new. We knew the depth they had, the ability to roll guys, as many as they had [up front] – eight, nine – I think that was one of the things. They were able to stay fresh in the late third, early fourth.

Did they do anything different?
Morris: No. They played a lot of two-man behind it, forced us to run the football. We were able to run the football, at times. We were able to throw the football, at times. I thought we did a decent job mixing it up. But they were going to stack the box and play physical up front. They didn't anything different than we hadn't seen.

How do you feel your offensive line held up?
Morris: I think our offensive line played well. I really did. I thought they played well. I thought they fought hard. I thought they scrapped. We knew it was going to be a heavyweight fight. We knew it was going to be a fist fight. We were going to take some hits and we were going to give some hits. We could have done some things a little different up front, maybe not get a holding call on one.

I thought Tajh Boyd played like a warrior, was able to run the football tonight with him. He was going to have to help us out with that.

How about Sammy Watkins running the ball?
Morris: That's something he's got to develop. He's got to be more of that type of threat for us, to where he's more of a dual-threat guy. I thought he did a good job of that tonight, trying to get him in the mix, trying to get him involved.

What's the biggest message to your group?
Morris: There's a lot of football left. That's the number one message. There's a whole lot of football left. You've got to be a scrapper. Champions, it ain't always easy. Sometimes, you're going to get knocked down. Sometimes, you're going to get your mouth bloodied. How are you going to respond? That's the challenge with our group right now.

There are so many things we could have done better, and we were going against a good football team. We're going to regroup. The season ain't over with. These guys are going to fight hard. I love them. I tell you what, they're going to sell out for you. That's the main thing right there.

The way your guys played tonight, what does that say about your team?
Morris: I think we've got a really good football team. I really do. You've got guys that are laying it on the line. That's what you've got. Tajh Boyd is a warrior, just a fighter -- Andre Ellington and our offensive line.

We can do better. We've got to learn from this. This is a great opportunity for us to get better next week.

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