Travis Etienne Jr. had an incredible collegiate career at Clemson: he set the ACC’s all-time career records for rushing yards, rushing touchdowns, total touchdowns, and total points scored.
Travis Etienne for 6️⃣— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 30, 2019
Tied for the longest run in Clemson history ❗️ pic.twitter.com/EDdEFUNFOt
Unfortunately, it’s been a while since we saw that same cat. Etienne was drafted 25th overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 but missed his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury. He has yet to score this season as he plays Robin to James Robinson’s Batman.
What’s interesting about the running back tandem is that they’re they the exact opposite of what we expected coming into the season. Etienne was supposed to be the boom-or-bust guy, but it’s Robinson who has several long touchdowns runs this season and ranks dead last in rushing success rate among 39 players.
Etienne has 34 carries for 144 yards this year, which respectively ranks 37th and 35th among all NFL running backs. According to Sports Info Solutions’ charting, though, Etienne is having a solid season by advanced metrics. Despite being stuffed at the line of scrimmage at the fourth-highest rate among 44 backs, he ranks 34th in busted run rate as well as 15th in yards after contact per attempt.
He’s still managing to bounce off defenders at a fairly high rate in the league, but the space just hasn’t been there for Etienne to break plays wide open. The good news is that could change this week.
Houston is allowing the fifth-highest yards per carry this season and ranks below average in most run defensive metrics. Jacksonville’s high projections in the spread (-7) and team total (25.5) this week indicate they’ll have control of the game. Will Etienne and the Jaguars be able to take advantage of their best rushing matchup so far this season?