Quite a bit of rust had accumulated on the previously well-oiled offensive machine. And understandably so, Chad Morris went nearly two weeks between play calls for The Tajh and Sammy Show, starring Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.
"I thought you looked [at] an offensive football team that hadn't played in about 10 days… I never thought that we got in a rhythm in the first half," Morris said, after Thursday night's 26-14 win over N.C. State.
The hurry-up, no-huddle relies heavily on rhythm and timing, maybe even more so that other offensive philosophies since things are operating at such a breakneck pace.
"We weren't in a flow," Morris said. "We didn't get in a groove. We had some opportunities that were squandered early on."
So, in an effort to help get Boyd his groove back, Morris eased off the gas.
"I think a lot of it was you're searching. You're trying to get [Boyd] in a rhythm. You're trying to search," Morris said. "You're trying to do some things he can be effective with."
Clemson finished with 77 plays, 415 yards and 26 points, none of which are up to the lofty standard that Morris has established since joining the Clemson staff in 2011.
"We've just got to get back in a rhythm," Morris said.
But here's the kicker: the Tigers have to wait nine more days before Wake Forest comes to town.
"That's what we do. That's what our schedule is," Morris said. "Tajh is a guy -- he'll go back to work. He's a veteran guy. He's been in this situation before. We expect him to come on."
Morris weighed in with a few more thoughts after the N.C. State game.
On the offensive line:
"Gave up a couple of sacks early on the first drive, which [I'm] a little concerned. Tried to shuffle some guys in and out and find the right chemistry. Right now, we haven't found that yet. Fortunately, we've got some guys with some depth, to be able to come in and spell us a little bit. We're just going to keep working for that. We've got to go back to work and pull back up."
On the running game:
"I thought we ran the ball fairly effectively. I thought there were some opportunities that we kind of left out there. I thought he did a good job with that."
'We've just got to get back in a rhythm'
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