Not Air Raid, but Dirt Raid for RBs

Will Shipley Garrett Riley Jason Priester All Clemson

When Garrett Riley took the job at Clemson over the offseason, many fans were excited about the idea of his Air Raid offense breathing life into a stagnant passing attack.

However, even though Riley is bringing a high-powered passing offense to the Tigers, the idea that it will be an all air affair is far from the reality.

“We’re going to be violent and fast,” Riley said. “I think it starts there. No matter if we’re in the passing game or the run game, we’re going to attack.”

In fact, as a part of this violent attack, Riley has brought, not only the air raid to Tiger Town, but the dirt raid.

“I know it’s with him being his background and being up on the late Coach Mike Leach and stuff like that and getting that label to air raid, but I think when it’s all said and done you have to run the football,” running backs coach C.J. Spiller said. “I mean when it’s time to win championships and control the clock and do all that, you have to be able to run the football and I think we have a great group of guys that can do that and it starts up front, you know, got a lot of experience that’s coming back so that’s exciting. And then obviously you have experience in the back field and then you got experience in the tight end room and now you got more experience at the receiver.”

So whether you call it an air raid offense or dirt raid, the nomenclature doesn’t matter to Spiller because he understands that for the Tigers to get where they want to go it is going to take a team effort.

“So it’s a collective effort from everybody. Our job is to, once those guys do their job up front and we get to the second level, now our job is running backs to reward everybody else that’s on that field. And that’s kind of how we approach it,” Spiller said. “But we are not worried about if we’re not going to run the ball, trust me, I’m not losing any sleep about that. I think I just got to do a good job of making sure that I keep those guys healthy throughout the whole season to be successful. Because I think (Clemson SID) Ross (Taylor) can correct me if I’m not mistaken, I think the running back from TCU had what, 1500 yards rushing last year I believe. So I think to me that should, if that only excite you as a running back then I don’t know what else I need to do to excite you.”

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