Clemson running backs gained 41 yards on 14 carries in Saturday’s 14-6 win over Auburn, but the Tigers will continue to use a running back-by-committee moving forward.
C.J. Fuller, Adam Choice and Tavien Feaster will battle for the starting job in practice this week and are expected to split carries in Saturday’s showdown at Louisville.
“It’ll be a game-time decision, and it’ll be that way every week. That’s not going to change unless something just materializes on the field,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “We’ve got three guys that we think can start for us. Every rep matters. Every practice matters.”
With the running backs struggling to get into a rhythm against Auburn, Swinney was asked if he’ll give a back four or five consecutive series.
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He quickly shut down that talk.
“Very few teams out there, if you watch Alabama, very seldom do they have a guy play four or five series (in a row). They play their good players, and that’s what we’re going to do,” Swinney said. “I’d rather have guys that I can roll in there and know that they’re going to play at a high level and stay fresh and wear people down.”
One thing Swinney made clear he won’t tolerate is fumbling.
Fuller, who started against Auburn, fumbled in the third quarter and didn’t get another carry the rest of the game.
RUN KELLY RUN
Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant was the leading rusher for the Tigers against Auburn, and could be in several games this season.
Bryant ran for 59 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Auburn. Choice was second with 17 yards.
“Kelly is going to be a factor running the football,” Swinney said. “All of our quarterbacks are always going to be a factor running the football. That’s just what we do.”
Clemson has one of the fiercest front fours in college football but is still working on developing depth on its defensive line.
Swinney is happy with the progress being made at defensive tackle with backups Jabril Robinson, Nyles Pinckney and Albert Huggins.
“Jabril is playing at a high level for us. We really trust him as a starter. We look at him in that light,” Swinney said.
Robinson had two tackles against Auburn. Pinckney and Huggins each had one.
“Huggins is a guy that I think is going to come on for us. He’s going to settle in and have a good season before it’s all said and done,” Swinney said. “Really proud of Nyles. I love his effort. He’s got a bright future for us.”