The sight of Syracuse freshman Chris Elmore running with the ball is so unusual that Elmore has developed his own fan section in the Carrier Dome.
At 290 pounds, Elmore is as large as a lot of the guys blocking for him.
According to a story by ESPN’s David Hale, Elmore himself was surprised when Syracuse coach Dino Babers told Elmore he would serve as a running back this season. Elmore was recruited mainly to play defensive tackle, though he also played fullback regularly in high school.
“Nobody saw this coming,” Elmore told Hale.
Now, it’s up to the Clemson defense to tackle Elmore. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said at his Wednesday teleconference that Elmore immediately stuck out when he watched film of Syracuse.
“They’ve got a 290-pound running back,” Swinney said. “That’s just crazy.”
Clemson has successfully shut down every running back it’s faced so far this season. The 98.8 yards per game allowed by the Tigers on the season are 14th fewest in the country. Clemson opponents are averaging 2.8 yards per carry. That ranks 8th nationally.
Elmore, however, presents a unique challenge. He’s not exactly looking to break off long runs.
While Elmore is exceptionally large for a running back (consider that Clemson’s primary backs, Travis Etienne and Tavienn Feaster, are listed at 200 and 220 pounds, respectively), he does possess some agility. According to Hale, Elmore played quarterback and receiver as a freshman in high school. As a sophomore, he ran hurdles for his track team. Elmore’s senior year, Hale writes, “there was talk of building the offense around the fullback dive.”
That said, when Elmore gets the ball, he’s not looking to be elusive. His goal is to run defenders over.
“I definitely look for contact,” Elmore told Hale. “I’m not making a habit of bouncing around and looking for a gap. There could be two or three guys in the hole. I’m looking for contact.”
The post Clemson football: Tigers will face challenge bringing down Syracuse’s 290-pound running back appeared first on Diehards.
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