CLEMSON -- After having 36 hours to reflect and analyze game-tape, Chad Morris remained concerned Monday about the lack of overall toughness and physicality on the Clemson offense, especially along the offensive line.

Clemson has four seniors on the offensive line, all returning starters, yet the Tiger struggled to create movement in the running game against Troy and Wofford.

"It's frustrating for us as a coaching staff to look at it and go why is a group we are expecting to carry us the ones we are having to go 'let's go, what's happening here?' " said Morris, the offensive coordinator.

Morris said part of the problem is related to players learning a new offense and thinking on the field, which he says saps aggressiveness. Morris said he's installed less of his offense than he hoped, utilizing around 50 percent of his playbook against Wofford.

"We can't keep expanding," Morris said. "We have three running schemes; we have to make sure we get good at least at one of them."

Morris noted that at his son's youth level football some kids like to hit and some don't. Morris indicated toughness and physicality might be more innate than learned.

"If they don't bite as a puppy, it's going to be tough to get them to bite as a dog," Morris said.

Morris believes toughness can be improved with coaching, but a focus on creating tough practices takes away from installing more of his offense

"We have to try to get that mentality changed," Morris said.

Pocket protectors

Morris said the offensive line problems are not limited to toughness in the running game, Morris noted the Tigers also struggled in pass protection, allowing four sacks against Wofford.

"It's not like we were blocking with five and they were bringing six," Morris said. "They were bringing five and we have five to pick them up and we just weren't picking them up …not nearly as aggressive at the point of attack as we need to be."


While Morris has been disappointed with some aspects of the first-team offensive line, he said the reserves have shown even less aggressiveness.

"If we thought those guys could hit, they would probably be up here," Morris said. "Some of our guys feel like there is a pecking order: 'this is where I'm supposed to be. I'm satisfied I'm in this role.'"

Clemson needs improvement from the second group as it must replace four offensive linemen next season.

Extra points

Clemson freshman WR Sammy Watkins was named ACC freshman of the week on Monday. Watkins has caught touchdown passes in his first two games …. RB Andre Ellington played 62 snaps against Wofford, which is too much according to Morris.