It has been a record-breaking season for Clemson running back Travis Etienne.
The sophomore from Jennings, La., already owns the single-season record for yards per carry in a season with an 8.3 average. He already owns the single-season record for rushing touchdowns with 21 and he already owns the overall touchdown record with 22.
Now the ACC Player of the Year and First-Team All-American needs just 65 yards to break Wayne Gallman’s single-season rushing record of 1,527 yards, which he set during the 2015 season.
“I’ve seen some good running backs here. I grew up watching C.J. Spiller and James Davis, ‘Lightning and Thunder.’ They were very explosive, being able to watch Travis play is awesome,” right guard Gage Cervenka said. “He has evolved too, he came in and was phenomenal as a freshman, but he has gotten even better as time goes by. It’s great to see him be the player he is becoming.”
Etienne has become the greatest single-season running back in Clemson history. Something he knew he was capable of doing when the season started.
“It wasn’t a surprise because of all the hard work we put in in the offseason,” he said. “With my teammates and coaches pushing me day in and day out it was bound to happen.”
But like this.
The sophomore has six games of at least 150 rushing yards, including a career-high 203 rushing yards and three touchdowns against Syracuse. He ﬁnished the season strong with 150 rushing yards against South Carolina and 156 yards on just 12 carries against Pittsburgh in the ACC Championship Game.
He was named the ACC Championship Game’s Most Valuable Player.
“It’s easy. He makes it easy for you but it’s fun,” Cervenka said. “You do your job and look up to see him 40 yards down the field and say ‘dang, now I have to sprint down the field for a PAT.”
That happened a lot this year. Etienne has touchdown runs of 75, 70, 59, 40, 29, 27 and 26 yards.
“It’s awesome and exciting to watch him,” Cervenka said. “In the future, I’ll get to look back and say that he’s one of the best running backs we have ever had.”
Clemson will play Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff Semifinals at the Cotton Bowl next Saturday in Arlington, Texas.