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Tony Elliott Pleased With Running Game in Season Opener

Clemson Tiger offense kicks off the 2020 season opener with 561-yard performance at Wake Forest Saturday night

Clemson opened the season Saturday night with a 37-13 win over Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. Offensive coordinator Tony Elliott had his first swing at being the lone play-caller and his offense produced over 500 yards of total offense. 

"I'm just proud of getting to this point. I thought the guys worked really, really hard this offseason," Elliott said. "You saw that early on outside of that first drive where we had some early mishaps. I think the first unit did a good of taking control of the game quickly."

Senior running back Travis Etienne led the charge and looked to be in prime condition, rushing 17 times for 102 yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence also finished off a pair of first-quarter drives with his feet, scoring on runs of two yards and one yard. 

Elliott discussed the crisp-looking Etienne, who looked the part of the program's all-time leading rusher and continued to be a threat after initial contact. 



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"He's been doing that since the day he got here. That's just his running style, he runs at 205 pounds with explosion and an unwillingness to go down. He's got great contact balance that allows him to break some plays," Elliott said. 

Tiger freshman running backs Kobe Pace and Demarkcus Bowman made the trip and each showed flashes of their potential in the lopsided ACC opener.  

"I thought Kobe was going to punch one in down there as close as he got. But you're able to see what he's got a ton of ability," Elliott said. "Demarkcus was close to breaking some long ones. So it's good for those guys to get some meaningful experience. Because in this day and age, they're going to be guys we are going to have to count on at any given moment down the stretch. I'm sure there will be a lot of things I'll be able to coach up but having success and the opportunity to take the field is going to be good and allow me to keep pushing those guys." 

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