Ground and pound

CLEMSON - Chad Morris is bound and determined to run the ball with some authority in 2014. To date, the foundation that's been laid is decent enough.

That's according to the fourth-year offensive coordinator, who has a discriminating taste when it comes to evaluating high-powered offenses.

"I think it's been up and down," Morris said of the progress by the Clemson run game this spring. "It's been up and down, we're not going to throw a party over it yet."

From the sound of it, Monday's scrimmage was more down than up.

"Not as good as I wanted it to be," Morris said, when specifically asked about it, "Far from where I wanted it to be, to be honest."

Between now and the season opener in Athens, there's plenty reason to believe there will be more days that leave Morris feeling up about the Clemson ground game.

"We want to run the football more this year than what we've done in the past, and that is by design," he said. "We've done a lot of work, studied a lot. We want to put our guys in position to run the football.

"Obviously, we're going to take advantage of the talent we have around us and adapt to what we do best, but our goal this spring was to come in and establish a consistent run game. [Monday] we didn't have that."

When asked if his overall feelings on the running game have anything to do with all of the moving parts along the offensive line, Morris said: "I think it's everything. There's just continuity [and] consistency. When you've got guys moving around, you're putting a lot of stuff on them.

"Our defense, obviously, we're going against one of the top defensive fronts in the country. That's good. It's good to see, as you continue to practice every day, they're going against a group that's very deep and very talented."

Monday's work on the ground by the quarterbacks left Morris feeling confident.

"Last week, we had a lot more quarterback-designed runs," he said. "[Monday] was more of a -- wanted to see how they would react in the pocket, move around, so that was good to say. They were able to pull the ball down and make plays when things were breaking down around them, which was good, really good to see."

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