For whatever the reason, Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott admitted following the seventh-ranked Tigers’ loss at Syracuse that he panicked a little bit with the playing calling and in hindsight probably gave up on the running game a little too soon.
Running backs Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster combined to rush for 125 yards and two touchdowns in the loss on just 12 carries. The two combined to average 10.4 yards per carry.
Feaster had a 37-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, the Tigers’ first run of the game. After that, the sophomore touched the ball just four more times for 21 yards. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry and was not tackled for a loss.
“It’s always disappointing when you don’t get a whole lot of carries, but at the end of the day, (Elliott) was trying to do what was best for the team. It is what it is,” Feaster said.
Etienne averaged 13.6 yards per run and had his four run of at least 50 yards when he took a hand-off and went 52 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. He is the first running back since C.J. Spiller in 2009 to record at least four runs of 50-plus yards in a season.
Like Feaster, Etienne was not tackled for a loss in the game either.