CLEMSON - Jamie Harper and Andre Ellington have contrasting personalities both on the field and off…
New storm brewing
Lightning, thunder— whatever you wish, struck on the second play from scrimmage.
For all the concern over life after C.J. Spiller, Ellington quickly dashed some of the doubt on the second play from scrimmage after breaking two tackles for a 60-yard scoring run in front of 75,000 fans at Memorial Stadium.
"I always think I'm going to break a long run like that first touchdown—I expect it," Ellington said. "But I didn't think it was going to be my first carry of the season.
"Once I saw open field, I just ran. After a few broken tackles it was end zone. All I saw were fans in front of me."
Ellington and Jamie Harper rushed for 122 and 102 yards, respectively—the first time since 2007 that two Clemson rushers each had over 100 yards in a game. ‘Thunder and Lightning' (Spiller and James Davis) pulled off the feat in a 30-17 win at Maryland.
It was never a goal for the new dynamic duo—for each to break the century-mark in the season opener.
"We didn't talk about [each rushing for 100]. We just talked about getting the win," Harper said.
Head coach Dabo Swinney would like more efforts like Saturday's, but he's not going to bank on it week in and week out.
"I don't know if I can depend on having two 100-yard rushers every game, but I hope we can rush the ball for a couple hundred yards or more a game," he said. "If we do that, I think we'll have a chance to win.
"I think we'll be a good running football team. I think we've got the ingredients. Physically, I think the guys have bought in to our style of play. They're finishing runs North, South."
Harper credits the offensive line for making that a reality.
"Our line puts a lot of confidence in us, just like we put a lot in them. When they told us [about the 100-yard efforts], that's the first people we go to," he said. "We just thanked those guys and our tight ends. Chad Diehl just killing people. Our wide receivers were making blocks down field, so we were capable of making the runs. We thank the offensive line and [Kyle Parker] the most."
Ellington also scored on a touchdown run of 14 yards and Harper had a touchdown reception.
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