Running Game

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Running Game

Recently I wrote a blog about the personnel at running back and who may have the best chance to fill the void left by Roderick McDowellRoderick McDowell
Running Back (2009 - 2013)
#25 5-9, 195
Sumter, SC

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from last season. Today I wanted to touch on the importance of committing to the run.

The season before Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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arrived at Clemson the Tigers averaged 139 yards per game on the ground and went 6-7. Since Morris arrived Clemson improved to 159 yards per game on the ground in 2012 and went 10-4. In 2013 they averaged 191 yards on the ground and went 11-2 and last season they gained 175 per game rushing and went 11-2.

Florida State was 9-4 in year two under Jimbo Fisher when they averaged just 112 yards per game on the ground. The last two years the Seminoles have rushed for 206 and 203 yards per game and have gone 26-2 and have two ACC titles and a national championship.

Alabama has averaged over 200 yards per game on the ground in four of their last five seasons. In the four years they averaged over 200 yards per game they went to a BCS bowl or the national title game. In the one year where they averaged 183 yards rushing they went 10-3 and played in the Capital One Bowl.

In 2010 Auburn rushed for 285 yards per game and won the national title. Two years later the Tigers averaged 148 yards per game and went 3-9. Last season they ran for 328 yards per game and went 12-2 and played for the national title.

You can pick out almost any team in the country and find that the running game is a key. Even in the pass happy teams in a pass happy era this is still the case.

For Clemson the 200 yard per game mark has not been ultra-important because the offense has been built around a record setting quarterback, record setting tight ends and several record setting NFL wide receivers.

This year may be different. Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
Quarterback (2009 - 2013)
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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is not the main guy anymore. Boyd was a very aggressive passer that seldom checked down. He will be known for getting the ball downfield.

This year there is no Nuk Hopkins or Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Wide Receiver (2011 - 2013)
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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. On third down and three the first option may not be an NFL wide out.

Therefore, this is the year we could see the running game become the main weapon at Clemson. I know Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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and Morris want to be balanced and I know they want to go at a fast pace, but this is the year where the running game may be the best option.

Also the make up of this team is different. With Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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and a deep group at defensive tackle and Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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and a talented bunch at defensive end, the Tigers may lean on that front four. With Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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leading a talented group at linebacker, this may be the best Clemson defense we have seen in several seasons. Maybe this is a team that wins by running the ball and playing stingy defense.

No one knows what Georgia will have on offense due to a new starting quarterback. Florida State should be loaded on offense but the Tigers then face teams with question marks on offense or at quarterback for the rest of the season until the season finale with South Carolina. Maybe this is the year where the Tigers dominate on the defensive side of the ball and the offensive staff doesn't feel like it has to score 40 points to win.

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Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
# 0, 0

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Mark Whiten, Richard Bagnal, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-3, 270
Jacksonville, FL

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and family, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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