Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 06, 2018 at 10:26 pm.

Clemson sharing the wealth

Clemson has so many game-breaking skill players on offense that individuals can’t afford to be selfish.

Fortunately for the Tigers, the players are big on camaraderie and sharing the wealth, which has been an overlooked aspect of a team that is undefeated (9-0) and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

“It really speaks to one of our strengths as a team and as an offense,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said. “We talk about it all the time — with these guys, it’s not a selfish group. You’ve got to be selfless to play offense at Clemson because we’ve got a lot of guys and you’re not always going to get the opportunities every game.”

Nothing underscores that more than Clemson’s stable of running backs. Starter Travis Etienne leads the way with 998 yards, 15 touchdowns and a gaudy 8.6 yards-per-carry average. The Tigers’ second-leading rusher is freshman Lyn-J Dixon, who only has 41 carries this season, but has rushed for 457 yards — 11.1 yards per attempt.

Graduate Adam Choice is averaging 7.9 yards per carry and junior Tavien Feaster comes in at a 6.3 clip. Each of the four backs has at least three touchdowns this season and is capable of breaking a long-distance run at any time — the group has 24 runs of 25 yards or more this season, including eight runs of 50 yards or more.

“The running backs just have fun,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “They are a veteran group and they support each other. There is just so much more experience on this year’s team than last year.

“Travis is awesome, and we truly have the type of depth that you need to have a championship-caliber team.”

After two sub-par performances, Clemson’s running game appears to have found its legs again.

The Tigers rushed for 492 yards in a 77-16 romp against Louisville last week, with three backs over 100 yards for a second time this season.

“I remember a day when we were just trying to get one running back over 100 yards,” Scott said.

The Tigers’ ability to succeed both on the ground and through the air looms large as the team prepares for Saturday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference showdown at Boston College.

Clemson could wrap up a fourth consecutive Atlantic Division title and ACC Championship Game berth with a victory.

“All of our games are big,” Swinney said. “It just so happens that after this one, if you win, they hand you a trophy. And that’s pretty cool.”