CLEMSON -- The offensive coordinator, the bright guy in the orange visor, got an orange Gatorade shower from giggling Clemson players Saturday less than a minute after head coach Dabo Swinney enjoyed the same sideline treatment.
Well deserved. Chad Morris' spread scheme soaked Florida State's excellent defense for 455 yards in Clemson's 35-30 victory at Death Valley. The No. 21 Tigers are 4-0 and atop an ACC Atlantic Division that No. 11 Florida State was supposed to rule, and Morris is the toast of the town.
He was most impressive talking about what Clemson did wrong. Andre Ellington lost a yard on fourth-and-1 at the Florida State 23 as the Tigers were trying to put the game away in the fourth quarter, giving the Seminoles one more chance.
"Why not?" Morris said he told Swinney when asked if Clemson should pass up a field goal try and go for it.
"I didn't come here to lay-up," Morris said.
It's a contagious attitude, clearly.
But if you're surprised about what happened Saturday and in the 38-24 win over Auburn last week, you are not alone.
"We're only four games into this offense," Morris said. "So that's crazy."
Nutty resume, too. This Morris fellow, 42, had exactly one year of college coaching experience under his belt -- offensive coordinator at Tulsa in 2010 -- before Swinney lured him to Clemson. Before that, Morris bounced around his native Texas for 16 seasons as a high school head coach with a dominant hurry-up offense.
Which easily makes Florida State the best defense Morris has ever defeated. The Seminoles came in No. 1 in the ACC in total defense at 195 yards per game.
"It was like a heavyweight fight," Morris said. "We were giving them our best punch and they were going to give us their best punch, and some you're going to win and some you're going to lose. But I thought when we had to move the football and give them some of our misdirection stuff, we were able to move the football."
It helped Clemson that FSU was without injured Greg Reid, its star cornerback and return specialist. But defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' unit is one of the best in the country. His brother Bob's top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners got all they could handle in a 23-13 win last week at Florida State and you might recall how the Seminoles throttled South Carolina in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Clemson in gobbling up all those yards ran 86 plays to Florida State's 53.
Morris was happiest with the performance on third down: 9 conversions in 17 attempts.
"That's where you make your money at," he said, "being able to execute on third down."
Sammy and Tajh
Sure, Morris has talent to work with.
Freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins already owns Clemson records. Morris says that students stop him during his jogs around campus with advice: Get Watkins the ball more often.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd is a first-year starter playing like an NFL prospect. Who saw a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 13-2?
"I thought he got a little rattled for just a little bit early in the second half," Morris said. "Things weren't working out the way they were early on and we had to settle him down. But, boy, that's the sign of a great competitor and a great quarterback when you have to overcome getting knocked around a little bit."
The thing is, Clemson usually has good skill-position players. The difference so far this year is these guys believe and, more importantly, have tangible evidence that the system works.
Plus, Morris painting orange oil on green canvas is fun to watch. Unless you are a defensive coordinator on Clemson's schedule.