ATLANTA -- After Clemson's 26-19 win over Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game Saturday, head coach Dabo Swinney said he pushed every player on his team to choose a word for themselves one that they could focus on all year. It didn't matter what the word was, Swinney wanted each players word to mean something to that particular player.
Running back Andre Ellington's word: Relentless.
"That's his word," said Swinney. "That's what he chose. If you want to know the definition of relentless just watch the game tape from tonight on 23. He was relentless."
Ellington carried the ball 26 times and gained 231 yards. He never lost a yard or moved backwards during the game on the way to averaging 8.9 yards per carry. He also set a personal best and lengthened a streak.
In Maryland last season, Ellington set a career-high with 212 yards rushing. Saturdays 231 yards raised the bar.
Ellington now has three consecutive games with more than 100 yards rushing. He passed the century mark in the first half with 123 yards before halftime.
"His ability to stay on his feet, finish runs," Swinney started to explain what Ellington accomplished Saturday. "Great toughness. Our standard is your best and he was chasing that all night." Swinney said that Ellington had a full spring and a full summer and what the college football world saw was expected.
"Nothing he did tonight surprised me," said Swinney.