As Etienne has started going, so too has Clemson’s offense

As Etienne has started going, so too has Clemson’s offense

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As Etienne has started going, so too has Clemson’s offense

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Over the last three weeks, Clemson has averaged 49.7 points and 592.3 yards per game in routs of Florida State, Louisville and Boston College.

The Tigers outscored those three teams by a combined score of 149-31.

So, what has been the difference in the Clemson offense since its one-point win over North Carolina on Sept. 28, when it had a season low 331 total yards and 21 points.

“We are just running the ball better,” head coach Dabo Swinney said Sunday during his weekly conference call with the local media.

Clemson (8-0, 6-0 ACC) is running the ball better. The Tigers have averaged 306.7 yards per game the last three weeks, which in turn has opened up the rest of the offense.

Etienne, who has rushed for at least 109 yards in all three games, has averaged 142.7 yards per game during the three-game stretch.

“Travis Etienne has been awesome. That is probably the biggest thing,” Swinney said. “Our offensive line, we have cut out some of the silliness and some of the bad penalties and things like that. We have just kind of gotten on a good rhythm. That is really about it.”

Clemson was clicking on all cylinders in Saturday’s win over Boston College. The Tigers ran for 302 yards and threw for 372 more. The 674 yards were a season high, along with their 59 points.

“Travis Etienne has been the spark. He has been awesome. He has been almost unstoppable,” Swinney said. I’m just super proud of him, and again, the offensive line has done a great job all year. They really have.”

Lawrence, despite what some might think in the national media, he has played well, too. Against Boston College he was close to perfect, throwing for 275 yards and three touchdowns against BC, while completing 16 of 19 passes with no interceptions.

He has thrown 9 touchdown passes in the last three games to just 3 interceptions. He is also just the second quarterback in Clemson history to record three consecutive games with at least three touchdown passes, the other being Tajh Boyd.

“Trevor has been amazing. I know everybody focuses on every time he has a bad play, but he has had a lot of great plays,” Swinney said. “That is a major reason why we are 8-0. He was outstanding Saturday night.”

Currently, Clemson ranks fourth nationally in total offense (525.9 yds/game), seventh in scoring offense (42.4 points per game) and 11th in rushing offense (254.1).

“The biggest thing is making sure we get our playmakers involved and certainly, it all kind of goes through (Etienne),” Swinney said. “I think it is more coming off the North Carolina game and really challenging Travis to play to his capabilities. That was part of it.

“We did want to make sure he got some guaranteed touches for sure, but we are at our best when they are taking what they give us. That is what you saw Saturday night and Trevor was just awesome with our RPO game, our play action game, and the decisions in the run game.”

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