Clemson's Etienne Ties FBS Touchdown Mark

Clemson running back Travis Etienne tied Florida's Tim Tebow and Kenneth Dixon for the FBS record in career games with a rushing or receiving touchdown.
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Clemson running back Travis Etienne joined Tim Tebow and Kenneth Dixon as the only players in FBS history to score a rushing or receiving touchdown in 38 career games. 

Etienne set the new ACC mark as well with a 16-yard touchdown run in the first quarter against Virginia on Saturday as he shook off a couple of defenders to turn a short-yardage attempt into a score. 

"It's just crazy to think that me, a small-town guy from Louisiana has been able to come here and have a great college career on and off the field," Etienne said after the 41-23 victory. "Just forever thankful, humbled and amazed." 

Tebow, the Florida quarterback and the Heisman Trophy winner, set the record in 2009 while Dixon, who played running back at Louisiana Tech, tied it in 2015. Etienne also passed Tebow in career rushing touchdowns (58) to move into a tie for 14th all-time in FBS history. 

Etienne finished with a big night. He had 73 rushing yards on 14 carries and 114 receiving yards on five catches. Etienne said he didn't know about the record coming into the game, but Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney let him know about it after in the locker room after his team improved to 3-0.

"It's just a humbling experience," Etienne said. "I'm thankful God put me in such a great place to be able to accomplish these things. I couldn't do this by myself. I just want to thank everybody who's been a part of my career, getting me to this point to accomplish this."

Etienne also caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence in the third quarter against Virginia that put Clemson up 35-17. 

"As a young athlete you always shoot for the stars, you shoot for the highest numbers. the highest stats," Etienne said. "To be able to accomplish that feat, it's the God-given ability to go out and play for Him. It's a crazy experience. It's humbling. I'm very blessed." 

Etienne began his illustrious touchdown-scoring career in the 2017 season opener against Kent State, and a Louisiana native who's found paydirt 65 times is one game away from an FBS record. 

"Once he showed up on campus that first spring I said, 'This kid's got a chance to be something special,'" Clemson offensive coordinator/running backs coach Tony Elliott said. "It just happened for him in, all the hard work that he's put in, humility that he continues to carry himself with, and he deserves all the accolades and praise that he's getting."

It's another record he'll likely own in a season that he didn't have to come back for as Etienne was eligible for the NFL draft but decided in the offseason to stay at Clemson. Then, some college stars around the country began opting out of the season because of COVID-19 concerns. 

But Etienne didn't go that route, instead opting to play in 2020 to add to his legacy and set himself up to be one of the most prolific running backs in college football. 

“I wouldn’t have any regrets,” Etienne said earlier this year. “I definitely came back and got better on the field, off the field, mentally, physically, spiritually. I’ve learned so much more coming back and I was able to show my little brother and my family that there’s so much more to life than money.”