Tigers take pride in holding Feaster out of endzone, but at end game "it's all love"
|Sunday, December 1, 2019, 8:47 AM- -|
COLUMBIA, SC – Members of the Clemson defense wanted to keep former teammate Tavien Feaster out of the endzone Saturday, with defensive coordinator Brent Venables saying that once you change jerseys in this state a line is drawn.
At the end of the game, however, it was all love between Feaster and his former teammates, with Feaster exchanging jerseys with Clemson running back Travis Etienne.
The Tigers held the Gamecocks to just 174 total yards and three points in Saturday’s 38-3 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium. The 174 yards and three points are the fewest by a South Carolina team against Clemson since the Tigers’ 45-0 win in 1989 when they held the Gamecocks to 155 total yards.
Feaster was held to 47 yards on 12 carries while catching four passes for eight yards. More importantly, the Gamecocks and Feaster were held out of the end zone, a goal for the defense according to safety Denzel Johnson.
“We were talking trash during the game. It was all jokes,” Johnson said. “But yeah, it is (rewarding). We did not want him to score.”
Linebacker Isaiah Simmons said it was the most fun he’s had all year.
“It was a lot of fun,” Simmons said. “It was probably the most fun I had in a game this year to play against him. It was just a lot of fun.”
Venables said his linebackers did a great job in covering up Feaster while also saying a line has to be drawn when a player changes to a rival school.
“When you put on one jersey or the other you are drawing a line in this state. That’s what it is about,” Venables said. “But players play the game. I don’t ever try to insert myself into it whatsoever. I just want to play well, so if that means he is not scoring, great. I know they were going to try and isolate our backers. I think he had eight yards with four catches, so the guys did a really nice job positioning themselves.”
Following the game, Etienne and Feaster hugged and exchanged jerseys.
“It just reminded me that it is bigger than football. And that football is a great thing for us,” Etienne said. “Without football, I would have never met Tavien Feaster and just the relationship that we have built the two years that we were together, it’s unbelievable. We will be friends for the rest of our lives.”
Feaster said it was “joyful” playing against his old team despite the loss.
“First off, it’s been a blessing being able to play college football. It is the last day of my college career and I’m just very thankful for the program and the trials and tribulations,” he said. “I’m forever grateful. Just playing against [Clemson], I was just joyful. We didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but it was just joyful.”
The Gamecocks’ season ended with Saturday’s loss while the Tigers are on to the ACC Championship Game and a possible berth in the College Football Playoff. Clemson – and Etienne – will have a big fan in their corner.
“That’s my guy. You know, we are going to catch up after the season,” Feaster said of Etienne. “That’s all we really said. I’m going to pull for them regardless, I spent three years there and I want to see those guys, my teammates, do well. No bad love. It’s all love for them.”