CLEMSON -- After a frustrating 2010, Tigers tight end Dwayne Allen believes he will have more room to operate this fall.
Allen said beginning Saturday versus Troy, defenses must cover the field vertically as well as horizontally with the addition of speedy skill players like freshman receivers Sammy Watkins and Charone Peake and running back Mike Bellamy. Allen said they should open up the middle of the field, meaning the junior tight end could be a threat to break Michael Palmer's single-season reception record for a tight end at Clemson (43 catches in 2009).
Allen caught two or fewer passes in five of the last six games last season.
"You spread that field out when you have guys on the outside like Watkins and Jaron Brown and speed backs like (Andre) Ellington and Mike Bellamy," Allen said, "then the tight end gets a lot of love."
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris has noted the preponderance of vertical routes in August scrimmages opened up the intermediate and underneath passing games.
Last season, defenses did not fear any of Clemson's perimeter players, condensing the field and allowing opponents to focus on Allen. For example, against Miami last fall Allen was covered by Miami's top cornerback, Brandon Harris, for much of the game.
Writing the script
Morris said he will script the first nine plays of Saturday's opener against Troy.
"It's something we've done and I'll have a second nine (plays) already in mind," Morris said. "You have so many young players out there, it's going to fall back on me as a play-caller, especially early in the game, to try to make it as simple as you can."
Still, Morris said the scheme will not be "vanilla" because the team is much further ahead in regard to execution and installation than Morris originally thought possible.
"We are going to what we do," Morris said. "We are going to be wide open, I'll promise you that."
The future is now
Morris believes in a few years there will be 30 or more teams running the up-tempo, misdirection offense he learned from Auburn coordinator Gus Malzahn. Morris believes there will be rules changes in the near future to help defenses, including bringing back the 25-second clock.
"The more people run, it the more they'll have to defend it," Morris said. "I think that takes a little bit of the cutting edge out of it."
RB Demont Buice is in question for the opener as he remains out with a bone bruise (knee) ... Morris indicated freshman WR Adam Humphries is not a lock to play against Troy. ... QB Cole Stoudt is taking all the reps with the second-team offense.