Howard, the Tigers' fourth-leading rusher with 226 yards, started the year off with a bang.
The Lincoln, Ala. Native reeled off four carries for 29 yards and a score
in the season opener against Troy. After just one carry against Wofford,
he then had nine carries for 86 yards against Auburn.
"I look back, probably my break-out game was Auburn, when I first got
noticed," Howard said. "I tried to thrive off that."
Unfortunately, he was sidelined with an injury for the Florida State and Virginia Tech games, before bouncing back against the Boston College, Maryland and North Carolina games with 11 carries for 50 yards.
Flying high into the Georgia Tech game with a perfect 8-0 record, things
turned south for both Howard and his the team.
With an injured Andre Ellington on the sideline, Howard totaled seven
carries for 23 yards and one catch for four yards. The catch was fumbled
and led to a Yellow Jacket touchdown.
"I started focusing too much on the big things," Howard said. "I started
losing focus on the little things, as far as attention to detail and all
that. I ended up having a downfall, as far as the Georgia Tech game.
"Fumbles, they played a big thing. I'm just focusing on the little things.
The big things will work out."
For now, the focus is on the Jan. 4 showdown with West Virginia at the
"It's very important for the team. Win the ACC Championship and then come
back and win the Orange Bowl, that would be great," he said. "It would set
the standard for the young guys coming in, just trying to work on the
little things to get better."
As Howard noted, it would set a standard for future Clemson teams.
"This year, we reached all of our goals, except for one, reaching the
state championship -- beating South Carolina," he said. "Each year, we try
to get better, to help build that standard, so the younger guys know what
their role is when they get here. We accept nothing but the best."
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