Gallman ties record by taking step back

Oct 7, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Boston College Eagles defensive end Harold Landry (7) fails to tackle Clemson Tigers running back Wayne Gallman (9) during the third quarter at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take many touches for Wayne Gallman to tie a Clemson record on Friday night.

The redshirt junior running back rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries (12.1 average per attempt) in Clemson’s 56-10 win over Boston College.

It marked the 15th time that Gallman eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in his career, tying Raymond Priester’s record for a Tiger.

“It feels good,” Gallman said of tying the record, “but there’s so much more I want to accomplish, and I feel like I still have a long way to go.”

Gallman’s first carry of the game went a long way. With Clemson down 3-0 early in the first quarter, Gallman ran right, broke a tackle in the backfield, made a cutback and outran a hoard of Boston College defenders en route to a 59-yard touchdown.

The run — Gallman’s longest of the season, and the longest play from scrimmage by the offense, as well — kick-started Clemson’s most prolific offensive performance of the season.

Gallman was awarded the Leather Helmet, presented annually to the game’s top player.

“Our ability to run the football was critical,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “Gallman, he’s just kind of blue collar and not flashy. We’ve been playing football at Clemson for a long time and have had a lot of good backs, and now Wayne Gallman’s tied with Priester.

“I’d say the odds are he’s got a chance to break that before his career his over. So, I’m really proud of him.”

Gallman has endured an up-and-down season to this point. After rushing 30 times for 123 yards and a touchdown in Clemson’s season opening win at Auburn, Gallman received just 33 carries over the next three games combined as he totaled only 133 yards.

However, in the the past two games, Gallman has looked like the “Wayne Train” he was nicknamed. The 6-foot, 210-pounder chugged for a total of 219 yards and two touchdowns on 25 attempts in the past two contests.

Clemson’s offensive line was inconsistent in the early going, while teams loaded the box in an effort to limit Gallman.

But Gallman said simply taking a step back has helped open things up for him offensively, as was the case on his 59-yard touchdown run.

“I’ve been working a lot on my patience and really taking a step back to look at the defense,” Gallman said. “Like I said last week, I’m too fast to the handoff, but taking that little extra step back gave me that vision to really see that cutback. I got deep up in the line, and it was off to the races.”

Overall, Clemson’s offense posted more than 200 yards rushing for the second consecutive week, and it wasn’t all Gallman. Redshirt junior running back Tyshon Dye recorded his first touchdown since last September in the fourth quarter before freshman running back Tavien Feaster followed with a 45-yard score of his own.

Clemson’s offense is back to being the powerful, high-octane attack it was expected to be entering the season, and the emergence of a dependable ground game has been key.

“There’s no doubt when we’re able to run the ball, that’s just your tempo, the momentum of the drive, and good things happen,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “It opens up things in the passing game, and the guys did a good job.

“That’s a very strong front seven that we just played against. Watching them on video, we knew it was going to be difficult. I’m really proud of those guys — offensive line, tight ends and the way Wayne and those backs ran. It’s big.”

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