Swinney wants Etienne to touch the rock

Swinney wants Etienne to touch the rock

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Swinney wants Etienne to touch the rock

Dabo Swinney has one request for co-offensive coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott in Saturday’s game against Georgia Southern. He wants his running backs to touch the football.

In last week’s win at Texas A&M, Clemson got the ball to running backs Travis Etienne, Adam Choice and Tavien Feaster just 16 times. The three carried it a combined 13 times for 70 yards with Etienne leading the way with 44 yards on eight carries.

“ET has to touch it,” Swinney said during his weekly press conference Tuesday at the Allen Reeves Football Complex in Clemson. “He has to touch the ball. He had three key plays in the passing game for us.”

Etienne finished the game with 11 touches on 32 snaps. He had 11 carries for 63 yards on 33 snaps the week before in a blowout win over Furman.

“We only had 55 snaps (as a team). There is a combination of how inefficient we were. How poor on third down we were and kind of just some of the situations in the game,” Swinney said. “(Etienne) has to touch the ball. Feaster has to touch the ball, too.”

Feaster has not touched the football much at all this year. Part of that says Tony Elliott is due to the fact Feaster was injured coming into camp and fell behind. He is not all the way back yet the Clemson coach said.

The junior carried the ball three times for 24 yards in the Furman game and he had just two carries for minus-1 yard in the Texas A&M game.

“We know it did not really work out with Feaster the other night,” Swinney said. “There were a couple of rotations where he did not touch the ball and a couple of bad plays and then we messed the sprint draw up with poor execution.”

Swinney said he wants to see his running backs touch the football in some form or fashion 35 to 40 times a game.

“That leaves a lot of other plays for the wide receivers, the quarterbacks and the tight ends,” Swinney said. “We have to get it going and have to do a better job to make sure those guys get the ball.”

Clemson ran for just 115 yards on 32 carries in the A&M game.

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