Containing Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne On Ground Key For Buckeye Defense

Tony Gerdeman

Staff member
  • May 28, 2020
    Ohio State went into last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson determined to stop running back Travis Etienne.

    The number one goal for the Buckeye defense each week is to stop the run, and it was no different against the Tigers a year ago. Etienne entered the game having rushed for 1,500 yards in 13 games. He was averaging 8.2 yards per carry and had scored 17 touchdowns on the ground.

    The Ohio State defense held Etienne to a season-low 36 yards on 10 carries, but it was quarterback Trevor Lawrence who did the most damage on the ground in the Tigers’ 29-23 win. Keeping it on the read option was instrumental in Lawrence rushing for a career-high 107 yards on 16 attempts. Taking away the three sacks and his numbers were actually 132 yards rushing on 13 attempts.

    As Clemson offensive lineman Cade Stewart said this week, when it comes to Lawrence running the ball, looks can be deceiving.

    “I mean, you’ve got to honor him,” he said. “It doesn’t matter...

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