Clemson running back Travis Etienne spoke to the media during media day in Clemson earlier this week as the Tigers get set to play Notre Dame in the College Football Playoff at the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29 in Arlington, Texas.
The Tigers are four quarters away from playing in the national championship game for the third time in four seasons.
Question: What is it going to be like celebrating Christmas in Dallas?
Etienne: “It’s going to be a very different experience it’ll be very weird, and I’ll have to adjust,” he said. “I’ll miss my family for sure.”
Question: What have you done to up your game this year?
Etienne: “In the offseason I worked out and put on more weight. Coach put me in the best position to make plays,” he said.
Question: Did it help you sharing the load during the regular season?
Etienne: “It means a lot just having those guys there to help me out during the regular season,” he said. “I think we are best when we rotate and keep each others legs fresh.”
Question: Does the extra time help you stay fresh?
Etienne: “The break really helped to get me back and running as well as helping the bumps and bruises recover a little bit,” he said.
Question: How do you describe your running game?
Etienne: “I’m a balanced runner, little bit of speed, little bit of power, little elusiveness bringing some life to the game,” he said.
Question: If somebody is in front of you at the goal line, what are you thinking?
Etienne: “If I don’t get in then coach is gonna crack jokes about me in meetings. Just get to the end zone and help my team put points on the board.”
Question: Did you expect a record-breaking season, or did it surprise you?
Etienne: “It wasn’t a surprise because of all the hard work we put in in the offseason. With my teammates and coaches pushing me day in and day out it was bound to happen.”
Question: What’s the difference going into this game vs last year?
Etienne: “Everybody knows the feeling of getting there and how a loss can make you feel. We know that all the work you put in feels like a waste with a loss. We are more focused.”
Question: Do you feel like your offense is more balanced and explosive this year?
Etienne: “This year we are peaking at the right time, everything is clicking from the passing game to the running game. Everybody is on the same page.”
Question: What’s the difference in playoff game and a regular game?
Etienne: “Coach Swinney created a mindset that every game is a playoff game because if you lose you see what it does for your season. We have a mindset that every game is the biggest game.”