Opportunity for Andre Ellington

Former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller will be watching his protege, Andre Ellington, on Saturday, when the Tigers host the Terps.

It's only fitting that Spiller is there, as Ellington is on track to break one of Spiller's records and could accomplish it on Saturday.

The goal: Reach 74 yards by his seventh carry.

The record: Fewest rushing attempts required to reach 1,000 yards in Clemson history.

Ellington has 926 yards rushing in 134 carries. Spiller will have his No. 28 retired on Saturday, so it would be quite an accomplishment for Ellington to break that record. Spiller got to 1,000 yards in 2007, his sophomore year, in just 142 carries.

And Ellington will definitely get the carries on Saturday. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has said Ellington, who has been splitting carries with Jamie Harper, will start getting more touches.

“Andre Ellington needs to touch the ball more," Swinney said. "He’s earned that. He just has to get the ball more.

“Jamie Harper’s a good football player. We have to make sure he has opportunities, but right now, Ellington has been more productive and deserves more opportunities. We just have to make sure he’s getting enough touches to impact the game. Hopefully Jamie will respond the right way, because he is a competitor. Right now, Ellington is the most explosive guy we have so he has to get more opportunities. Right now, Andre is the starter. He’s earned the opportunity based on game day production."

Ellington had 491 yards in 68 rushes last year as Spiller’s backup. So far this year he has 435 yards in 66 attempts, a 6.6 average. His career average is 6.91 through 19 games. Ellington ranks third in the ACC in rushing yards per game 87.0 per game.