What happens now? Do you go back to the stuff you were doing preseason to get ready for Georgia when Cole was the starter?
Morris: Prior to Deshaun coming in and taking the job at Florida State, it wasn’t how Cole had really played; it was more so how Deshaun had performed during that time. We all saw a different look, there were a lot of things that we were beginning to really open up and really be able to do, to exploit his talents. As we game planned for that last week, we knew we were going against a quality opponent. There was a lot of stuff in there that we weren’t able to get to. Not because Cole wasn’t prepared for it, it was just more so the fact that we had game planned going in for Deshaun, and losing him took a little bit of adjustment and trying to get things back, considering Cole hadn’t practiced any last week. Going back to your original question, we’ve got to go back and get better at a lot of things, and build on that. There are some things we’ll be limited with, but there will also be things we’ll able to do with Cole as we move forward.
Will Cole be full go this week?
Morris: He’s scheduled to practice. I was told this morning he’s scheduled to practice, so hopefully that’ll be the case. He definitely needs to practice.
It’s probably a unique situation, but we all saw what Deshaun can do, as you said “open things up.” Do you now, personally, as a coach have to scale down your expectations of what you thought this offense would do over this next month?
Morris: No I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to hamstring ourselves at all. Cole is, even nick Schuessler—these guys are on scholarship for a reason. My expectations for offense is to be one of the most explosive offenses in the country, and we’ve shown that the past 3 and half years that I’ve been here. Obviously disappointed in our inability to put the ball in the end zone last week. We missed some chances early that really couldn’t get anybody in a rhythm. It was disappointing, our inability to capitalize on short yardage. Those are some things we’ve got to go back and reevaluate and get better with. But I will say this, we played five offensive linemen and they weren’t perfect, but they played a whole lot better than what people think they played. It might be one of the better games they played as a collective group. I thought David Beasley played his best game. I thought Ryan Norton played his best game. We are going to build on that, we are going to build on the last drive. We are going to build on the fact that when we did get into rhythm, and we were able to play with some tempo, we saw what happened.
The way Adam Choice played the other day, is he starting to get consideration because he ran the ball so well?
Morris: We are really pleased with Adam, especially the last couple of drives. I thought he did well. There are some things he’s not quite as polished in that he’s got to continue to get better at, like pass protection and being able to identify, but that’s something he takes great pride in. He’s a perfectionist and we love the way he practices, it means something to him. Adam definitely had the hot hand. We were hoping Wayne Gallman would give us the spark he gave us the week before, but there were some things that happened early in the game. We gave up a sack, and that was straight on Wayne, we let the guy come right by him. We couldn’t quite get into the rhythm with Wayne, so we stayed with Adam.
The past two games, considering the environment of the opponents, did Cole execute everything you expected he would?
Morris: I thought Cole played well against Georgia. I thought he played well outside of that pass at Florida State. He ran the ball well and I thought he did exceptionally well. Again, it wasn’t so much how Cole played, it was more so how Deshaun played. It would’ve been a whole lot easier from a coordinator standpoint to say you weren’t playing very good. Cole was playing well, Deshaun was just playing better. Cole has been a champion through this whole process, so obviously he has to practice.
Could that be a challenge for Cole over the next 3-4 weeks to keep the job or earn the job?
Morris: Well, yeah. A lot is going to be determined over the next few weeks. This is a critical week this week. Defensively last week, they were really good. Hats off to Coach Grantham and those guys, they were probably the fastest defense we’ve seen. We knew that coming in. One of the better, if not the best, defense we’ve seen since I’ve been here, including the LSU defense we saw a few years ago. So yeah, there’s going to be a great challenge for Cole and our offense to step up and build on some of the good things we did last Saturday. We have to be able to capitalize, convert short yardage, and get the ball in the end zone.
Have you heard yet if Deshaun has had that procedure on his finger?
Morris: I’m not at liberty to discuss injuries, but I do believe yes.