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Author Topic: SB Nation: Explaining Clemson's Chad Morris and the smashmouth spread offense  (Read 3968 times)

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MuskogeeHogFan

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Here's an article from 2014 that does a really good job of explaining the Morris offensive philosophy. It's a fairly long read but if you want to have a serious discussion about football while spring football moves along and at the same time familiarize yourself with what Morris attempts to scheme, this is a good article.

What this article also does is to explain the characteristics of the key players that are needed to make this offense go. After you read this it should bring up some interesting discussion of who we currently have in these positions that best fit these descriptions.

Meanwhile, the Malzahn/Morris school of spread offense is already built around the run game. In fact, it's like a modern wishbone, an attempt to use the classic triple option in a new way.

The modern elements added by Morris include spread alignments, the forward pass, motion, and tempo. The brilliance of the triple option is that it's a self-contained concept with built-in answers for any potential problem. Morris doesn't have any single concepts quite that simple or elegant, but in general he emphasizes a similar level of soundness in his offense.

Morris could try to have a million concepts to answer a million problems. But he would rather contain multiple answers within the same concepts. He can still use diversity -- of formations, personnel groupings, or options within a play -- but focuses on fully mastering a few versatile plans of attack.


After the snap, you can see the past come alive as Morris' smashmouth spread starts cycling through the four options of a triple-option attack, whether two or three at a time or all at once. That's right. The best triple option offenses present four main threats to account for.

1. The dive.
2. The keeper and the fulcrum.
3. The "pitch."
4. The deep bomb.


There is also a discussion of the shorter passing game, screens, etc. found within this article. It's a good read. Do we have the personnel to run all of this offense? Part of it?

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/6/10/5782566/clemson-offense-chad-morris
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twistitup


Here's an article from 2014 that does a really good job of explaining the Morris offensive philosophy. It's a fairly long read but if you want to have a serious discussion about football while spring football moves along and at the same time familiarize yourself with what Morris attempts to scheme, this is a good article.

What this article also does is to explain the characteristics of the key players that are needed to make this offense go. After you read this it should bring up some interesting discussion of who we currently have in these positions that best fit these descriptions.

After the snap, you can see the past come alive as Morris' smashmouth spread starts cycling through the four options of a triple-option attack, whether two or three at a time or all at once. That's right. The best triple option offenses present four main threats to account for.

1. The dive.
2. The keeper and the fulcrum.
3. The "pitch."
4. The deep bomb.


There is also a discussion of the shorter passing game, screens, etc. found within this article. It's a good read. Do we have the personnel to run all of this offense? Part of it?

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/6/10/5782566/clemson-offense-chad-morris

Have you bought in yet?
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MuskogeeHogFan

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Have you bought in yet?

Have you read the article?
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greenie


Nice read. My impression (which could be totally misplaced) is that weíre moving from an offense that was less cerebral and required physical domination to move the ball, to one that is more cerebral, and designed to minimize a talent deficit and exploit speed.

I do worry that we may not have the right QB yet, but time will tell. As the writer notes, itís hard to take full advantage of this offense without a true dual-threat QB.

My other concern, personnel wise, is the offensive line.

All conjecture at this point, but the notion of running this type of offense is exciting.

Thanks for the link.
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Cinco de Hogo

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Everything still starts with the O-line.  If we canít block 3-4 defensive players with 5-7(with two TE sets) then the defense has the numbers with 7 guys to cover our 5 skill players.  And doesnít that always seem to be our problem???   Could Hammonds be a Sammy Wakins?  Do we have a back similar to the Auburn RB that was so important to them this last year?  Do we have a servicicable dual threat QB? I have a feeling that unless Ty Storey hangs on and shows us something we havenít see, we donít.   Morris will adapt, he will find players for the skill positions mostly but donít start thinking 8, 9, 10 wins because right now we donít have the O-line of Clemson or Auburn. 

Iíve been telling yaíll for ten years you can run any offense you want out of the HUNH including the wishbone, now here is an article you can read that explains all you can do.  It very exciting for me to finally get this type offense back to Arkansas.  With a coach who can pull in the players to run it we stand a much better chance of being competitive in the SEC than we do trying to one up the powerhouse recruiting schools.  Course, Morris still has to beat Malzahn at his own game.
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bphi11ips

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Great article. Thanks for posting.

We definitely have the H-backs and running backs to execute the offense the author describes. The QB is the key in all post-snap read offenses. He has to be a threat to run but more importantly a ball handler who makes quick, correct decisions. 

Many people associate the ďspreadĒ with ďair raidĒ type attacks. Iíve thought of it since Pat White operated it at West Virginia as the most effective offense ever devised at creating space in the defense. If the QB makes the right decision, he will always take at least one player out of the play without a block. Football always comes down to a numbers advantage at the point of attack.
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rtr


Have you bought in yet?
Have you read the article?
Muskogee has posted this article several times.  I would say he is genuinely excited about this next era of Razorback football. 

The thing about Coach Morris that excites me is that he has a plan and knows what he wants to do in order to implement it.  Knowing what you are going to do is half the battle.  So many coaches don't know what they want, so they try this and that, they fail to establish an identity.  This coach knows his identity.
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PorkRinds


I truly believe Ty Storey may be the next starting QB. Heís the most equipped to run this offense.
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rmcchris


Great article, thanks for sharing.  The QB is the key, we will have the rest, at least at some point.  Look at Aubby, good when the QB is good.
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liljo

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Great article. I had to read sections of it a few times over. Looking forward to seeing it mastered by players wearing Hog uniforms!
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31to6


It is great read, but IMO the single most important thing in the entire article is that CCM threw everything he knew away when it stopped working. This is not a guy who is going to lose with a system that no longer works as football evolves: even if it is something he has been running for a long time and has become part of his "identity".
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lahhog

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Nice read. My impression (which could be totally misplaced) is that weíre moving from an offense that was less cerebral and required physical domination to move the ball, to one that is more cerebral, and designed to minimize a talent deficit and exploit speed.

I do worry that we may not have the right QB yet, but time will tell. As the writer notes, itís hard to take full advantage of this offense without a true dual-threat QB.

My other concern, personnel wise, is the offensive line.

All conjecture at this point, but the notion of running this type of offense is exciting.

Thanks for the link.

I think that this offense will not necessarily be more cerebral, outside the fact that the players will have to be able to think fast to keep up tempo. Other then that I think it has the chance to be much simpler, because this is a style of offense that is much more common among high school teams. As far as the QB situation, although it might not be the ideal scenario for CCM I know there are guys in the QB room that can fulfill the running needs, whether it be Kelley who can run fairly well and then fall forward for an additional 4 yards, or guys like Hyatt who have good speed. One clear upside of this offense to me is that the run blocking schemes are far more simple than what we were running so this offense should be able to be more effective running the ball. Coach Fry knows how to teach this offense and be effective, whereas Anderson was giving them pro style running schemes that could not be executed well at the college level and put a lot of unneeded stress on the O line.
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VirginiaHog


Those of you thinking that he needs a dual threat to run this offense:
At SMU he had Rafe Peavey, another dual threat who was the starter, and moved from them and started a pro style an this past season. So no. He does not need a dual threat to run this offense. I still say I will be shocked if Cole is not the future of the program at qb.
And the o line will be better simply due to the ball getting out much faster, and the d being spread out more.
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UAGolfer1981

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 Sorry for the formatting errors
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UAGolfer1981

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Great insight from an in-depth read.  After reading several times and taking some notes, I tried to determine if we have the current personnel to make this offensive system work.   We have talent on the roster, but this article begs to ask 2 questions:  1) Do we have the right talent on our roster?  2) Is our talent in the best position?

Here are my observations based on the article's description of key personnel:

QB
-THINK - Experience with read option offense. Must make quick decisive option reads. Must read coverages from pre-snap motion.
-RUN - Quick feet and tough runner. Ability to attack the edge.  Breakaway speed a plus
-PASS - Quick release/accurate short throws.  Accurate long passer.
Observation:  Current roster QBs are primarily pocket, pro-style passers, explaining the recruiting of Bohannon.  Will likely need to recruit dual-threat in future classes.  Storey will get strong consideration over Kelley, would not surprise if incoming Jones makes an impact.  I would expect departures after spring ball.

RB
-Strong inside runner with ability to find creases with quick feet and vision
-Speed to attack the edge and breakaway speed.
Observation:  On current roster, Whaley, Hayden and Hammonds would work in this role.

H-BACK
-Must execute kick out blocks on DEs, block LBs in space/perimeter
-Solid outside receiver that defenses respect
-Ideal size 6'-6" 250lbs
Observation:  On current roster loaded with TEs, Patton, Gragg, and Cantrell would fit this role.  I would expect movement/departures from this position.

WR PITCH
-Ability to catch screen passes.
-Quick feet to avoid tacklers in space  4.0 shuttle
-Top-end breakaway speed   4.4 40 speed
Observations: Current roster players, would love to see Hammonds move into this role. Warren, Woods also come to mind.

WR BOMB
-Must beat press and single coverage
-Ability to adjust and catch deep throws
-Top-end breakaway speed   4.4 40 speed
Observations:  Current roster players will need to develop beating press/single coverage with Martin and Nance most likely.

O-LINE
-Must have zone and man technique.  Guards must be able to read stunts, mobility to pull,band single coverage
-Ability to read and handle DL movement/stunts. Strong footwork and technique to take proper angles.
-Mobility to pull, blocking in space.
Observations: As expected, this area will be a challenge. However, I believe our current players suffered under the transition from road-grading down hill blockers to more agile combination, quick hitting blockers.  Strength, conditioning and coaching technique played a big role.  However, I am more optimistic that others in our current rosters ability to convert to a "smash-mouth spread" system.  The players will improve greatly with a clear, consistent direction and coaching. We are seeing our linemen drop weight to add quickness/stamina. Depth remains an issue.
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welchog


So we go from smashmouth to smashmouth spread.

I like it.  Our best coaches ALWAYS levered finesse over power (JFB, LH, KH). 
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hogfansince79


I think the starting QB will be the person who consistently throws an accurate deep ball.
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HogPhilosophy

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Iíve got a feeling Connor Noland will be our QB by the end of the season (if he makes it to campus). He has the arm, he has the legs, he has the build (6í2 210-220) and he comes from a spread system.
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DeltaBoy

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Great analysis of this system.
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VirginiaHog


Cole also came from a spread. He said yesterday that this o fits him much better as it is similar to what he ran in hs.
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Al Boarland

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Good to see everyone is coming around on "prairie dogging".
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greenie


Those of you thinking that he needs a dual threat to run this offense:
At SMU he had Rafe Peavey, another dual threat who was the starter, and moved from them and started a pro style an this past season. So no. He does not need a dual threat to run this offense. I still say I will be shocked if Cole is not the future of the program at qb.
And the o line will be better simply due to the ball getting out much faster, and the d being spread out more.

You may be right, but the article that Muskogee linked certainly indicates that a dual-threat QB is key.

"Unless the quarterback is a dual-threat player, the offense can't fully execute Morris' philosophy."

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Cinco de Hogo

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Those of you thinking that he needs a dual threat to run this offense:
At SMU he had Rafe Peavey, another dual threat who was the starter, and moved from them and started a pro style an this past season. So no. He does not need a dual threat to run this offense. I still say I will be shocked if Cole is not the future of the program at qb.
And the o line will be better simply due to the ball getting out much faster, and the d being spread out more.

What was his record at SMU?  Would it have been better with a hoss dual threat QB?

According to the article, undoubtedly.
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SooieGeneris

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Here's an article from 2014 that does a really good job of explaining the Morris offensive philosophy. It's a fairly long read but if you want to have a serious discussion about football while spring football moves along and at the same time familiarize yourself with what Morris attempts to scheme, this is a good article.

What this article also does is to explain the characteristics of the key players that are needed to make this offense go. After you read this it should bring up some interesting discussion of who we currently have in these positions that best fit these descriptions.

Meanwhile, the Malzahn/Morris school of spread offense is already built around the run game. In fact, it's like a modern wishbone, an attempt to use the classic triple option in a new way.

The modern elements added by Morris include spread alignments, the forward pass, motion, and tempo. The brilliance of the triple option is that it's a self-contained concept with built-in answers for any potential problem. Morris doesn't have any single concepts quite that simple or elegant, but in general he emphasizes a similar level of soundness in his offense.

Morris could try to have a million concepts to answer a million problems. But he would rather contain multiple answers within the same concepts. He can still use diversity -- of formations, personnel groupings, or options within a play -- but focuses on fully mastering a few versatile plans of attack.


After the snap, you can see the past come alive as Morris' smashmouth spread starts cycling through the four options of a triple-option attack, whether two or three at a time or all at once. That's right. The best triple option offenses present four main threats to account for.

1. The dive.
2. The keeper and the fulcrum.
3. The "pitch."
4. The deep bomb.


There is also a discussion of the shorter passing game, screens, etc. found within this article. It's a good read. Do we have the personnel to run all of this offense? Part of it?

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/6/10/5782566/clemson-offense-chad-morris

I believe we do. Chase Hayden and TJ Hammonds can be those scatback guys with Hammonds catching a lot of passes on those screens. Devwah Whaley with a little less weight and more flexibility can be the Wayne Gallman back who runs between the tackles.

Cantrell is a really good blocker who with a little less weight and more flexibility like Whaley can be a good receiver at the H back along with some of the others at TE.

Brandon Martin can have a big year if he learns to beat press coverage. We saw a glimpse of Jones' potential in the Mizzou game. Nance exceeded expectations when healthy. Cornelius can catch a lot of passes out of the slot. Woods is already making a lot of plays in practice. It remains to be seen if we have enough WRs for this offense.

I think the O line can block better with more spacing and not being jammed into a phone booth as in the past 5 years. The key will be gaining yardage on 1st down and staying out of obvious passing situations, critical in any offense.

It's a must that we have a QB who is in excellent condition to run at a breakneck pace at times, make quick decisions and get the ball out quickly on passes. Having a backup capable of running the offense without a major dropoff is big with the QB runs there is always a chance of injury. Of course, maybe not as much as the last 2 years when AA was taking such a beating on pass plays.

We clearly don't have a DeShaun Watson, but these guys can run this show. I don't think we'll see all of Morris' offense the first 2 years or until he gets a more dynamic playmaker at QB.

We go into the 2018 season with a proven return man and kicker, so I'm more concerned about the other side of the ball. How much pass rush we are able to get will determine how many games we can win.

Ryan Pulley can be a 1st team All-SEC and Calloway was a 4 star recruited by everyone. We have not seen talent at safety like what we will have in ages. Having said that, if the pass rush doesn't greatly improve, any secondary will be exposed including this one.

Any attacking defensive style is going to get burned a lot without a consistent rush. I look for 1-2 of the DEs moving inside on passing downs with Ramsey and Taylor or Gerald at E with some zone blitz mixed in.
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Cinco de Hogo

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So we go from smashmouth to smashmouth spread.

I like it.  Our best coaches ALWAYS levered finesse over power (JFB, LH, KH).

Petrino was power spread so...similarities?
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GoHogzzGo


Great read thanks for sharing.

I do think we have the players with two areas of concern. O Line, and consistency + execution at QB.

If those two things are good to go, I think there is plenty of talent for CCMís system to light up the scoreboard. Whaley, Hammonds, Hayden, Cornelius, Martin, Jones, Cantrell, O,Grady, etc.
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bennyl08

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Nice read. My impression (which could be totally misplaced) is that weíre moving from an offense that was less cerebral and required physical domination to move the ball, to one that is more cerebral, and designed to minimize a talent deficit and exploit speed.

I do worry that we may not have the right QB yet, but time will tell. As the writer notes, itís hard to take full advantage of this offense without a true dual-threat QB.

My other concern, personnel wise, is the offensive line.

All conjecture at this point, but the notion of running this type of offense is exciting.

Thanks for the link.

I got a very different impression at least as far as being cerebral is required.

Both styles require the players to make reads pre and post snap and both require creative playcalling. However, the pro-style that we were running requires a lot more reading of the defense post-snap than this offense will. This offense is basically reading where the defense is aligned pre-snap and deciding what you are going to do right then and there with the only real post-snap read being reading the unblocked DE. Zone vs man, Cover 1 vs Cover 2 is irrelevant. You are either throwing behind the LOS or throwing to somebody open downfield.

Of course, presumably there will be intermediate throws as well where the qb will need to read the coverages, but that will not be as integral a part of the offense as we saw under Petrino and Bielema.

As for the other, non-qb positions, the cerebral aspect is pretty much the same. We had pulling guards under Petrino and Bielema where they'd have to be able to react to pulling inside or outside. Rb's always have to read the LBs and how they are lining up to the OL blocks. WR's based on this article just have to memorize the playbook and don't have to be cerebral out on the field. In fact, the article talks about how they don't even have to be a very good receiver and understand route running (which is one part physical and one part mind games with the defender i.e. cerebral). Either run straight down the field, throw your body at a defender, or catch a softly thrown pass in space and just try to get yards. Nothing really technical. As I recall, Bielema/Enos didn't do a lot of route options, but Petrino did where even on a single play call, the receiver might run 3 different routes based on defensive alignment and they and the qb would have to be on the same page as the correct route to run. Don't see that with the Morris offense, at least based on this article. Hear the playcall (or at least see Lee Corso's face on the poster they hold up or what have you when you prairie dog to see the playcall) and go, no thinking.

Lastly is the cerebral aspect of the coaching staff. A pro-style offense requires chess master level playcalling to work. Otherwise, you are left with asking your players to simply over-power the opponent. It's a common misconception that the latter is what a pro-style is all about. The pro style is simply saying, I want the defense to not make any mistakes and execute their scheme as they intend, I just intend to take advantage of that for my offense. This style of offense takes a lot of stress off the playcaller since each play is designed to be able to take advantage of multiple defensive schemes and hence the options. Just requires the players to then choose which option to take, which isn't too dissimilar from the pro-style where the qb has several audible options depending on the defensive alignment/scheme.

Lastly, it's important to note that these things are not mutually exclusive of one another. They just tend to favor one or the other. The 2 minute offense in the NFL is a HUNH offense hoping to keep the defense simple and tired, but uses more pro-style play calling. There's nothing keeping a pro-stye attack from hoping to confuse a defense but being prepared to still gain yards if the defense isn't fooled and there isn't anything keeping a HUNH from calling plays that are based on attacking what the defense wants to do rather than merely trying to confuse the defense and hoping it works.
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Vantage 8 dude

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Here's an article from 2014 that does a really good job of explaining the Morris offensive philosophy. It's a fairly long read but if you want to have a serious discussion about football while spring football moves along and at the same time familiarize yourself with what Morris attempts to scheme, this is a good article.

What this article also does is to explain the characteristics of the key players that are needed to make this offense go. After you read this it should bring up some interesting discussion of who we currently have in these positions that best fit these descriptions.

Meanwhile, the Malzahn/Morris school of spread offense is already built around the run game. In fact, it's like a modern wishbone, an attempt to use the classic triple option in a new way.

The modern elements added by Morris include spread alignments, the forward pass, motion, and tempo. The brilliance of the triple option is that it's a self-contained concept with built-in answers for any potential problem. Morris doesn't have any single concepts quite that simple or elegant, but in general he emphasizes a similar level of soundness in his offense.

Morris could try to have a million concepts to answer a million problems. But he would rather contain multiple answers within the same concepts. He can still use diversity -- of formations, personnel groupings, or options within a play -- but focuses on fully mastering a few versatile plans of attack.


After the snap, you can see the past come alive as Morris' smashmouth spread starts cycling through the four options of a triple-option attack, whether two or three at a time or all at once. That's right. The best triple option offenses present four main threats to account for.

1. The dive.
2. The keeper and the fulcrum.
3. The "pitch."
4. The deep bomb.


There is also a discussion of the shorter passing game, screens, etc. found within this article. It's a good read. Do we have the personnel to run all of this offense? Part of it?

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/6/10/5782566/clemson-offense-chad-morris
Thanks so much for digging this out. Yep, does help to explain some of the in-and-outs of the CMM philosophy and approach to the game.
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greenie


I got a very different impression at least as far as being cerebral is required.

Both styles require the players to make reads pre and post snap and both require creative playcalling. However, the pro-style that we were running requires a lot more reading of the defense post-snap than this offense will. This offense is basically reading where the defense is aligned pre-snap and deciding what you are going to do right then and there with the only real post-snap read being reading the unblocked DE. Zone vs man, Cover 1 vs Cover 2 is irrelevant. You are either throwing behind the LOS or throwing to somebody open downfield.

Of course, presumably there will be intermediate throws as well where the qb will need to read the coverages, but that will not be as integral a part of the offense as we saw under Petrino and Bielema.

As for the other, non-qb positions, the cerebral aspect is pretty much the same. We had pulling guards under Petrino and Bielema where they'd have to be able to react to pulling inside or outside. Rb's always have to read the LBs and how they are lining up to the OL blocks. WR's based on this article just have to memorize the playbook and don't have to be cerebral out on the field. In fact, the article talks about how they don't even have to be a very good receiver and understand route running (which is one part physical and one part mind games with the defender i.e. cerebral). Either run straight down the field, throw your body at a defender, or catch a softly thrown pass in space and just try to get yards. Nothing really technical. As I recall, Bielema/Enos didn't do a lot of route options, but Petrino did where even on a single play call, the receiver might run 3 different routes based on defensive alignment and they and the qb would have to be on the same page as the correct route to run. Don't see that with the Morris offense, at least based on this article. Hear the playcall (or at least see Lee Corso's face on the poster they hold up or what have you when you prairie dog to see the playcall) and go, no thinking.

Lastly is the cerebral aspect of the coaching staff. A pro-style offense requires chess master level playcalling to work. Otherwise, you are left with asking your players to simply over-power the opponent. It's a common misconception that the latter is what a pro-style is all about. The pro style is simply saying, I want the defense to not make any mistakes and execute their scheme as they intend, I just intend to take advantage of that for my offense. This style of offense takes a lot of stress off the playcaller since each play is designed to be able to take advantage of multiple defensive schemes and hence the options. Just requires the players to then choose which option to take, which isn't too dissimilar from the pro-style where the qb has several audible options depending on the defensive alignment/scheme.

Lastly, it's important to note that these things are not mutually exclusive of one another. They just tend to favor one or the other. The 2 minute offense in the NFL is a HUNH offense hoping to keep the defense simple and tired, but uses more pro-style play calling. There's nothing keeping a pro-stye attack from hoping to confuse a defense but being prepared to still gain yards if the defense isn't fooled and there isn't anything keeping a HUNH from calling plays that are based on attacking what the defense wants to do rather than merely trying to confuse the defense and hoping it works.

Thanks, benny.  A good explanation of you take...you might even say your response was...cerebral.   8)
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31to6


Petrino was power spread so...similarities?
Several differences:

Petrino ran mostly out of a the I-formation or single-back set. He added pistol with a single-back set here after he brought in Klenackis from Nevada.
Petrino's passing game places a lot of burden on the QB to read defenses and on WRs to master an advanced route tree.
Petrino liked to pass to get a lead and then run to ice the game.
Petrino's offenses, at UA at least, features a pro-style QB that was hopefully a "willing runner" but there were no zone reads/dives or called QB runs. He has since added more of an RPO / QB option game than he had here.
Petrino liked to play fast, but the offense huddled before each play. "I like to snap the ball within 15 seconds."

CCM runs out of a two-back set mostly, out of the shotgun.
CCM features a zone read/dive and will use a QB run both as an option and as a called play depending on the ability of the QB.
CCM is HUNH.
CCM is more run first, with the run setting up deep shots in the passing game.

Similarities?
Both like to run the ball. CCM likes it more and will run it down after down--fast--if it the defense can't stop it.
Both take what the defense is giving them.

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twistitup



Both take what the defense is giving them.



Shouldn't all good coaches do this?
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bennyl08

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...

There is also a discussion of the shorter passing game, screens, etc. found within this article. It's a good read. Do we have the personnel to run all of this offense? Part of it?

https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/6/10/5782566/clemson-offense-chad-morris

First, I feel like it is important to note that the play described in the link is merely a staple of Morris's offense and not the entire thing. Talking in general here, not referring specifically to you. Such that maybe one game we run a variation of the read option on 10 plays and another game we run it 50 times.

With that said:

QB: A common misconception with an offense like this is that you need a true dual threat. Not true, and that works both directions. Auburn an this offense all the way to a national championship with qb who couldn't hit the wide side of a barn 5 feet in front of him. They had a whole handful of "hunter heave" level miracle plays to even get there, but yeah. Against our pass defense, he literally completed more passes to razorbacks than auburn tigers over a whole half.

On the flip side, and IMO the more important factor, you don't have to bee a speedster. Case in point is Kirk Cousins under Kyle Shanahan with Washington in the NFL. He ran a 4.93 forty time which is slower than than most any qb we've had save for Mallett (and even he finished a full NFL game as the raven's leading rusher once...). Google it and there are plenty of highlights of Cousins running the football against NFL defenders successfully.

With the qb spot, it all comes down to throwing the ball first and foremost. Even with better runners on the table, Morris went with the guy who was best passing the football. I believe that Morris given a choice between Manning and Flutie, would choose Peyton over Doug despite the latter being more traditionally suited for his offense and being a very good qb in his own right just because Peyton was even better. Now, if it was between say Cam and Peyton, that choice maybe gets harder to make.

RB: I think we are golden here. Maleek Williams is going to shock some people this season and will be our battering ram up the gut. The real shock is going to be when people see him break a 50 yard and think to themselves that a back that strong shouldn't be that fast. He's not as fast as Hayden, Hammonds, and Whaley, but he's no slouch there either. Whaley will likely be our do-it-all back and probably lead carrier unless he gets surpassed by the younger guys. I doubt that happens, but it's possible. Hayden provides a really quick and fast back who is like the inverse of Maleek who will surprise people with his physicality and toughness. I think this year, we have a very wide range of skill sets at the position which can keep defenses on their toes.

H-Back: We are golden here. Patton still has work to do with his blocking, but is still very good. Cantrell at 270 was still able to fly and now that he's down into the 250's he'll be able to fly in the 4th quarter too. O'Grady is still IMO our most dangerous guy after the catch and is probably the best blend of receiver and blocker. Gragg is probably the best pure blocker, but also has very soft hands and is very good at finding the soft spot in a coverage. Gunter proved to be too talented to redshirt as a true freshmen and was getting PT along with guys who had been here a lot longer than he had. He was injured last year, but I don't think he should be forgotten in this rotation. Hayden Johnson proved a reliable receiver so far out of the FB position and has beefed up to more of a TE weight and will strong contender for PT given that he was more experience blocking defenders b/w the tackles as opposed to just being an in-line blocker. Kendrick Jackson is even better at that skill and probably the best we have on the roster but is much less a threat to be a receiver and is more of a pure blocker.

WR deep bomb: Jordan Jones has to be the first and last word with this. I think Kolian Jackson will excel at this as well and Martin could be a threat here as well.

WR bubble screen: Stewart, Barnes, and Warren are all in that jitterbug, super quick and shifty WR mold. None quite have the size to be great on the outside against press coverage, but in a screen game could be dangerous as well as prototypical slot receivers.

WR blockers: Along with the hback outside to block, Woods looks tailor made to this role. He isn't particularly fast, but he is a punishing blocker in the mold of a Keon Hatcher. Further, he is good at using his power to block out defenders and can high point the ball really well making him ideal for fake screens. Cornelius is also a good blocker on the outside. Pettway and Martin certainly have the size, but I don't know their skill in that.

Side note, guys like Nance haven't been mentioned yet. Nance is more of a pure receiver IMO and more a jack of all. He has the speed and route running to go deep if we need him to, he has the quickness and agility to receive a screen pass, mentality to be a blocker if needed, and his best trait IMO is the intermediate passing game where basically all those skills coalesce. Cornelius also fits this mold. I think Martin and Jones can be there as well, but their route running wasn't great last year, but both have the tools.

OL: Froholdt without question is our top guy here. Athletic and strong, he can pull and do what we need him to. Only question is the mental game. He wasn't a fast learner in terms of scheme and finally hit his stride with the scheme last year. Will he have trouble adjusting quickly to the new scheme? Wallace also has the tools to be an all conference RT, but has struggled with inconsistency in the past. Trimmed up now, he's still 320 pounds of beast and has never really struggled with athleticism.

Heinrich would excelled as a guard in this system and it's a real shame that he had to leave. Gibson is a powerful run blocker, but quickness and moving in space isn't his game. Jackson continues to gain experience... Clary and Merrick are both guys who are good with movement and quickness and could feature more prominently.
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bennyl08

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Shouldn't all good coaches do this?

Even bad coaches do that as we saw under Bielema. We'd pass 50 times a game if the defense sold out to stop the run under him. He just wasn't as effective at it.
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31to6


Shouldn't all good coaches do this?
Well yah... I guess what I meant was in terms of empowering the QB to take what is given.

Lots of coaches will call a play and delegate little to no leeway to the QB to change and not asking them to read the defense and adjust the play before or after the snap.
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rzrbk4life


First, I feel like it is important to note that the play described in the link is merely a staple of Morris's offense and not the entire thing. Talking in general here, not referring specifically to you. Such that maybe one game we run a variation of the read option on 10 plays and another game we run it 50 times.

With that said:

QB: A common misconception with an offense like this is that you need a true dual threat. Not true, and that works both directions. Auburn an this offense all the way to a national championship with qb who couldn't hit the wide side of a barn 5 feet in front of him. They had a whole handful of "hunter heave" level miracle plays to even get there, but yeah. Against our pass defense, he literally completed more passes to razorbacks than auburn tigers over a whole half.

On the flip side, and IMO the more important factor, you don't have to bee a speedster. Case in point is Kirk Cousins under Kyle Shanahan with Washington in the NFL. He ran a 4.93 forty time which is slower than than most any qb we've had save for Mallett (and even he finished a full NFL game as the raven's leading rusher once...). Google it and there are plenty of highlights of Cousins running the football against NFL defenders successfully.

With the qb spot, it all comes down to throwing the ball first and foremost. Even with better runners on the table, Morris went with the guy who was best passing the football. I believe that Morris given a choice between Manning and Flutie, would choose Peyton over Doug despite the latter being more traditionally suited for his offense and being a very good qb in his own right just because Peyton was even better. Now, if it was between say Cam and Peyton, that choice maybe gets harder to make.

RB: I think we are golden here. Maleek Williams is going to shock some people this season and will be our battering ram up the gut. The real shock is going to be when people see him break a 50 yard and think to themselves that a back that strong shouldn't be that fast. He's not as fast as Hayden, Hammonds, and Whaley, but he's no slouch there either. Whaley will likely be our do-it-all back and probably lead carrier unless he gets surpassed by the younger guys. I doubt that happens, but it's possible. Hayden provides a really quick and fast back who is like the inverse of Maleek who will surprise people with his physicality and toughness. I think this year, we have a very wide range of skill sets at the position which can keep defenses on their toes.

H-Back: We are golden here. Patton still has work to do with his blocking, but is still very good. Cantrell at 270 was still able to fly and now that he's down into the 250's he'll be able to fly in the 4th quarter too. O'Grady is still IMO our most dangerous guy after the catch and is probably the best blend of receiver and blocker. Gragg is probably the best pure blocker, but also has very soft hands and is very good at finding the soft spot in a coverage. Gunter proved to be too talented to redshirt as a true freshmen and was getting PT along with guys who had been here a lot longer than he had. He was injured last year, but I don't think he should be forgotten in this rotation. Hayden Johnson proved a reliable receiver so far out of the FB position and has beefed up to more of a TE weight and will strong contender for PT given that he was more experience blocking defenders b/w the tackles as opposed to just being an in-line blocker. Kendrick Jackson is even better at that skill and probably the best we have on the roster but is much less a threat to be a receiver and is more of a pure blocker.

WR deep bomb: Jordan Jones has to be the first and last word with this. I think Kolian Jackson will excel at this as well and Martin could be a threat here as well.

WR bubble screen: Stewart, Barnes, and Warren are all in that jitterbug, super quick and shifty WR mold. None quite have the size to be great on the outside against press coverage, but in a screen game could be dangerous as well as prototypical slot receivers.

WR blockers: Along with the hback outside to block, Woods looks tailor made to this role. He isn't particularly fast, but he is a punishing blocker in the mold of a Keon Hatcher. Further, he is good at using his power to block out defenders and can high point the ball really well making him ideal for fake screens. Cornelius is also a good blocker on the outside. Pettway and Martin certainly have the size, but I don't know their skill in that.

Side note, guys like Nance haven't been mentioned yet. Nance is more of a pure receiver IMO and more a jack of all. He has the speed and route running to go deep if we need him to, he has the quickness and agility to receive a screen pass, mentality to be a blocker if needed, and his best trait IMO is the intermediate passing game where basically all those skills coalesce. Cornelius also fits this mold. I think Martin and Jones can be there as well, but their route running wasn't great last year, but both have the tools.

OL: Froholdt without question is our top guy here. Athletic and strong, he can pull and do what we need him to. Only question is the mental game. He wasn't a fast learner in terms of scheme and finally hit his stride with the scheme last year. Will he have trouble adjusting quickly to the new scheme? Wallace also has the tools to be an all conference RT, but has struggled with inconsistency in the past. Trimmed up now, he's still 320 pounds of beast and has never really struggled with athleticism.

Heinrich would excelled as a guard in this system and it's a real shame that he had to leave. Gibson is a powerful run blocker, but quickness and moving in space isn't his game. Jackson continues to gain experience... Clary and Merrick are both guys who are good with movement and quickness and could feature more prominently.

Benny I noticed you didnít add tj hammonds? I really look for him to thrive in this offense and have a break out year. Just feel that heís the type thatís can take it to the house anytime he touches it
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bythelake


Good to see everyone is coming around on "prairie dogging".

Al,  you can be a contrary SOB, but you nailed it. 

Made me chuckle as I hated the prairie dog offenses,  should be illegal.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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Thanks so much for digging this out. Yep, does help to explain some of the in-and-outs of the CMM philosophy and approach to the game.

It's obviously not all-encompassing, but it does give you a general idea of that which he wants to execute. To me, it is actually classic football that tends to gravitate towards stressing defenses and forcing them to make decisions quickly about how they play you while hopefully allowing an offense to take advantage of created mismatches within the scheme.

I like having multiple options as to what you can do with the ball at the snap because it really makes it more difficult to defend as a defense, especially if you get caught in the wrong personnel package while the offense continues to line up and snap the ball, making it difficult for defenses to sub out packages as they relate to down, distance and field position.

For Arkansas, this may help level the playing field a bit.
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bennyl08

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Benny I noticed you didnít add tj hammonds? I really look for him to thrive in this offense and have a break out year. Just feel that heís the type thatís can take it to the house anytime he touches it

Did I leave him out? I picture him in a Percy Havin esque role. He's not a guy you want carrying the ball b/w the tackles 20 times a game. But he is a guy you want to touch the ball at least 120 times if not more over the season. Have him returning kicks/punts, catching screens, flat out lined out wide, some carries up the gut, toss plays, etc...
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12247


I keep seeing Cole Kelley at the H Back spot since Morris hired on.  He is large enough and nimble enough to handle the DEs.  Also smart enough to know which way to block and he could run or throw the ball from that position with just a little change up in the formation or motion.  The total idea of any non stupid offensive formation is to get the defense to weaken and be out of place so ordinary players have a chance to make big plays and great players to hit home runs.

Thanks, Muskogee for the read.  I liked it.  I have always believed some variation of this spread thing gives a team like Arkansas the best opporftunity to score the ball.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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I keep seeing Cole Kelley at the H Back spot since Morris hired on.  He is large enough and nimble enough to handle the DEs.  Also smart enough to know which way to block and he could run or throw the ball from that position with just a little change up in the formation or motion.  The total idea of any non stupid offensive formation is to get the defense to weaken and be out of place so ordinary players have a chance to make big plays and great players to hit home runs.

Thanks, Muskogee for the read.  I liked it.  I have always believed some variation of this spread thing gives a team like Arkansas the best opporftunity to score the ball.

I don't see Kelley as an H-Back. I think that he would transfer before he would make that move. I could be wrong, but I think that he sees himself as a QB. If not here, somewhere. Besides, we already have an abundance of H-Back type players who are already accustomed to playing something similar at TE.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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Iíve got a feeling Connor Noland will be our QB by the end of the season (if he makes it to campus). He has the arm, he has the legs, he has the build (6í2 210-220) and he comes from a spread system.

You never know. The QB is the lynch-pin to this whole system. He either makes it go or makes it break down by his decisions. Young QB's can sometimes be bigger contributors who easily mesh with a offensive system or they may require time to adjust to the speed of the game at a higher level of play. How many HS QB's have faced the defensive speed found in the SEC? I'm not saying that it can't be done, I'm just saying that it is rare to find someone who can come from the HS ranks and function well at such a high level.
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bennyl08

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I keep seeing Cole Kelley at the H Back spot since Morris hired on.  He is large enough and nimble enough to handle the DEs.  Also smart enough to know which way to block and he could run or throw the ball from that position with just a little change up in the formation or motion.  The total idea of any non stupid offensive formation is to get the defense to weaken and be out of place so ordinary players have a chance to make big plays and great players to hit home runs.

Thanks, Muskogee for the read.  I liked it.  I have always believed some variation of this spread thing gives a team like Arkansas the best opporftunity to score the ball.

Is that you Nutt?
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RockyMtnHog


We clearly don't have a DeShaun Watson, but these guys can run this show. I don't think we'll see all of Morris' offense the first 2 years or until he gets a more dynamic playmaker at QB.

Don't forget about John Stephen Jones, he will make some waves when he gets to campus.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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I think I heard that there was emphasis in camp on having the QB's learn to make a quick throw and as illustrated in this article under the heading of "The Pitch", they demonstrate how the 3rd option in the QB read may not be pitching it to a RB. It may instead be throwing it to take advantage of mismatches in alignment/coverage. There is even a video of it being executed.

3. The "pitch."

The biggest difference between the wishbone, split veer, or I-formation option offenses of the past and the concepts in modern systems like the Morris spread is that the QB is rarely pitching the ball out to option No. 3. He's throwing it.

The various receiver screen passes that are attached to the inside run plays are often where the offense does the most damage. It's a very low-risk, high-reward concept. The throw is simple and exceptionally unlikely to be picked off, since the ball is thrown based on a read of the best positioned defender. The offense has the opportunity to make a couple of blocks on smaller defenders in space, and the ball is quickly delivered to what might be the most explosive player on the field.

On this play, Morris motions out the NFL Draft's No. 4 overall pick, Sammy Watkins, before the snap. The Buckeyes don't adjust, leading to an easy read for quarterback Tajh Boyd. Notice that the H-back is flexed out wide as a slot receiver, where his size allows him to eliminate the nickel player Ohio State is relying on to stop plays like this. When you're throwing a pass like this to a player like Watkins, that's about as easy a 10-yard gain as you're going to get on a football field. If there's a missed tackle? That could be 90 yards.



https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/6/10/5782566/clemson-offense-chad-morris
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twistitup


Don't forget about John Stephen Jones, he will make some waves when he gets to campus.

Oh....I have a feeling nobody will forget him, that name will be said at least 3 million times between now and the end of next year. The camera will def flash to him every game on the sidelines (or field if he is starting) and the announcer will say - grandson of the great Dallas Cowboy owner Jerry Jones

Remember when....

"Arkansas safety Matt Harris is the son of former Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowler Cliff Harris" - that year, I forgot the kids name was Matt, I just called him son of Cliff
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MuskogeeHogFan

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Don't forget about John Stephen Jones, he will make some waves when he gets to campus.

There may be an application that fits his skills, we will see. He reportedly runs a 4.6-40 which is respectable, but he isn't going to run away from many SEC defenders. He seems to have a good arm but it is mostly demonstrated on the run, which may fit this offense well. I don't think I ever saw him throw a straight-up 10 and out, maybe the most testing throw in football at any level that requires a lot of arm strength, especially if thrown to the far side of the field. At a reported 5-10, 175, he has some filling out to do. And I can assure you that the speed of the game that he will face in college isn't the same as what he faced in HS, so there will be that learning experience as well.

He's on the team and he will be given his chance. He can't ask for anything more than that and I am sure that he doesn't ask for more than a chance to compete.

I will say that he is in a tough spot though. If he earns playing time he will have to be so much better than everyone else so as to avoid the whole, "he's playing because of who he is", thing. That's a lot of pressure on a young player so I don't expect that we will hear a lot from Mr. Jones the first couple of years until he grows and develops. Time will tell.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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Several differences:

Petrino ran mostly out of a the I-formation or single-back set. He added pistol with a single-back set here after he brought in Klenackis from Nevada.
Petrino's passing game places a lot of burden on the QB to read defenses and on WRs to master an advanced route tree.
Petrino liked to pass to get a lead and then run to ice the game.
Petrino's offenses, at UA at least, features a pro-style QB that was hopefully a "willing runner" but there were no zone reads/dives or called QB runs. He has since added more of an RPO / QB option game than he had here.
Petrino liked to play fast, but the offense huddled before each play. "I like to snap the ball within 15 seconds."

CCM runs out of a two-back set mostly, out of the shotgun.
CCM features a zone read/dive and will use a QB run both as an option and as a called play depending on the ability of the QB.
CCM is HUNH.
CCM is more run first, with the run setting up deep shots in the passing game.

Similarities?
Both like to run the ball. CCM likes it more and will run it down after down--fast--if it the defense can't stop it.
Both take what the defense is giving them.



I'm not sure that Morris runs out of a 2-RB set more than a 1-RB set. If you include a RB/H-Back in the Slot who goes in motion, you might be right. Given that he isn't coming into a situation that is stocked with the exact type of players that he might have recruited, I'd suggest that he will adjust the offensive sets/schemes to fit the talent that he has to work with at this time. One thing we do know is that we are going to snap the ball faster than we have in the past. 
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razorbackkid

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Good stuff ..... thanks.
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31to6


I'm not sure that Morris runs out of a 2-RB set more than a 1-RB set. If you include a RB/H-Back in the Slot who goes in motion, you might be right.
I based that on what he said in his press conference shortly after arriving where he described his offense. It seemed to jive with what I had seen but admittedly I didnít go watch a bunch of SMU to see if he lied or not.
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MuskogeeHogFan

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I based that on what he said in his press conference shortly after arriving where he described his offense. It seemed to jive with what I had seen but admittedly I didnít go watch a bunch of SMU to see if he lied or not.

Lied? Really? I'm attempting to have a conversation about Morris and his offensive scheme. You may be right but let's not be a drama queen.
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