Why not Feaster?
|Tuesday, October 18, 2016, 3:12 PM-|
Adam Choice got the first crack followed by Tyshon Dye and then C.J. Fuller, but the when Clemson needed a spark the most the fans were clamoring for freshman Tavien Feaster, who never got his chance.
Fuller ended the game with 16 carries for 56 yards – a 3.5 yards per carry clip – while Feaster only got in the game for one play.
Why wasn’t Feaster given an opportunity?
Scott – Clemson’s co-offensive coordinator – told the media Tuesday that every move a player makes during the week is evaluated and the coaches went with who they can trust the most, and the coaching staff decided to go with who they felt most comfortable with and who has the most experience in crunch time.
“Coach Swinney is always involved. Personnel is something we talk about every day in practice. Our coaches, we spend 80 hours a week up here. Every step they make up here from the time they get here until they leave is evaluated and watched until midnight at night,” Scott said Tuesday in the WestZone. “As coaches, we all feel very comfortable when we go into a game as far as what the pecking order is for your position.
“There have been conversations with who we want to go with and we worked our way down and gave Adam Choice an opportunity and then Tyshon and then C.J. Fuller. Then, C.J. got hot and was running the ball really well. We were moving the ball and so if C.J. wouldn't have done as well there would have been opportunities for Feaster to go in. Those last few drives we got into a rhythm and C.J. was running the ball well.”
Clemson has several talented freshmen on the roster, who have all played at times throughout the season, but Scott said a game hanging in the balance isn’t the time to give a young guy his breakout opportunity.
“Nobody has asked me why Cornell Powell hasn't played. Nobody has asked me why Diondre Overton didn't play,” Scott said. “Very talented freshmen but they have some guys who are little bit more experienced when you're playing in a game where every single play the game is on the line. That's not a time to break a guy out. Last week at Boston College, we're up by a bunch, let's give guys opportunities to go out and make plays and they did that. That's a different situation than the game is on the line every single play. Coach Swinney always gives us the freedom to play the guys but there's been a lot of conversations leading up to that.”
However, Feaster’s time will come, but first, he needs to master the things that come along with being a running back at Clemson and that goes well beyond just carrying the ball.
“That doesn't mean that Tavien won't get his opportunity. That's coming, but he has pecking order that he has to work through,” he said. “As coaches, you have to go with your gut feeling, and that's of 80 hours a week for however many weeks these guys have been here, you have to go with your gut feeling based on what you've seen in practice and all of the different memories that you have of practice and other games. The biggest issue came after the game when everybody started asking the question. It was not an issue on the headsets. It wasn't a major deal at all to us or to the team because everybody knows where everybody is and they have to earn their stripes. He'll get other opportunities just like the young wideouts.
“We trust him enough as the fifth guy; that would've been the situation to go in there, and now that these other guys have had an opportunity that could change what order they go in the next game. That's something that each week, the coaches have to make those decisions. Like we talk about, there's a lot more to it than go run the ball when you're up 35 points. There are a lot of things involved and N.C. State was bringing guys all over the place. They were a physical team. Pass protection is a big issue. There's a lot more involved with it than running the ball. We like Tavien. He's going to be a great player, there's no doubt it. When the times present themselves for him to get opportunities, then he'll get those opportunities.”