NEW ORLEANS – There were not many bright spots for Clemson in its 42-25 loss to LSU in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night, but running back Travis Etienne was one of them.
In what was likely his final game at Clemson with an NFL Draft decision on the horizon, Etienne recorded a team-high 78 yards rushing on 15 carries, an average of 5.2 yards per attempt. The native of Jennings, Louisiana, also scored on a 3-yard rushing touchdown in front of family and friends at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
It was a record-breaking night for Etienne, who broke Raymond Priester’s Clemson record for career rushing yards (3,966) with a carry early in the first quarter. The run set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Trevor Lawrence on the following play.
Later in the first half, Etienne became the first 4,000-yard career rusher in Clemson history and finished the game with 4,038 rushing yards for his career. He joined NC State’s Ted Brown, Florida State’s Dalvin Cook, North Carolina’s Amos Lawrence, Maryland’s LaMont Jordan, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, Georgia Tech’s Robert Lavette, Wake Forest’s Chris Barclay and Boston College’s AJ Dillon to become only the ninth 4,000-yard rusher in ACC history.
Etienne was also Clemson’s second-leading receiver with five catches for 36 yards.
For the season, Etienne had 1,614 yards rushing and 19 rushing touchdowns on 207 attempts (7.8 average).
Etienne, a junior, has not announced whether or not he will enter the 2020 NFL Draft this April. However, it is assumed that the projected second-round pick will decide to forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL.
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