Travis Etienne returned to action this past weekend as the ACC and Big 12 played out their first games of the season. For some, it was clear that some rust is still being knocked off but others hit the ground running in 2020. CBS Sports looks across the college football landscape to find some of the marquee running back performances of Week 2. 

Stock Up

Michael Carter, North Carolina

Javonte Williams was responsible for all of the clean-up near the goal line for the Tar Heels. Williams finished with three touchdowns on 14 carries. Carter was much more effective, however. He tallied 78 yards and zero touchdowns on seven carries against a Syracuse team that lost a few key pieces to their 2019 defensive front. 

The Florida native showed that he was a dual-threat catching six passes out of the backfield for 60 yards. Williams has a muscular build, which allows him to fight through contact and hold up in pass protection. He looks really natural catching passes as well. According to stats from TruMedia, Carter had an adjusted yards before contact of 1.57 and an impressive 9.57 adjusted yards after contact. He was turning missed tackles into larger opportunities. 

Travis Etienne, Clemson

There is not much more left to be said of Etienne. He is a bigger back that shows good contact balance and vision. Clemson jumped out to a 27-0 lead at halftime and the Tigers continued to feed him. He had 17 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown as well as three receptions for 47 yards.

Etienne recorded 11 of his 17 carries on first down Saturday. Of those 17 carries, 14 took place in the first half. The Tigers presented a relatively straight forward game plan in a 37-13 win over Wake Forest. Coach Dabo Swinney should still have some tricks up his sleeve when the team needs them later this season. The Citadel is coming to town next week. 

Cam’Ron Harris, Miami

Harris does a nice job of compacting his frame as he approaches the line of scrimmage. His longest rush of the day went for a 66-yard touchdown on fourth down and there were not many Blazer defenders able to lay a finger on him. When the dust had cleared, Harris had accumulated 134 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries as well as four receptions for 10 yards. 

Harris had eight carries for 21 yards on first down. His key contributions to the Hurricanes offense came on other downs: nine carries for 113 yards. The Hurricanes disposed of UAB, 31-14.

Kyren Williams, Notre Dame

Duke has a really good edge defender in Chris Rumph II but Notre Dame’s offensive line is very experienced and talented. Four of their five starters could be draft picks next April. Truthfully, Williams’ yards before and after contact were not that impressive. He finished with 112 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries but, more importantly, he added 93 receiving yards on two touchdowns. Most of his yardage came on chunk plays but he was a match-up issue for the Blue Devils. 

Stock Down

Javian Hawkins, Louisville

Hawkins is a fun player to watch and is certainly capable of housing it any time he touches the ball. The downside to playing lesser competition is that more is expected of the players with the upper hand. Hawkins glided to the right for a 19-yard touchdown in the second quarter. If that play is removed from the record — not that it would be — he has just 52 yards on 18 carries, which equates to 2.9 yards per carry. 

Keontay Ingram, Texas

Similar to Hawkins, Ingram did not have a bad day. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry but expectations were higher against UTEP. Of his nine carries, seven occurred on first down. The hope is that the Longhorns are not this vanilla against Power 5 teams because Texas gets Texas Tech on the road next. 

Trey Ragas, Louisiana

Louisiana walloped Iowa State on the road, 31-14. A few of those touchdowns were scored in the return game. The tandem of Elijah Mitchell and Ragas was joined by a third back on Saturday — sophomore Chris Smith. The Ragin’ Cajuns favored him in the first half while Ragas got half of his 14 carries in the fourth quarter. Ragas’ 49 rushing yards is rather pedestrian but the offensive line was not doing him any favors. According to stats from TruMedia, the junior from New Orleans had zero yards before contact on first and second down in addition to a negative adjusted yards before contact on third and fourth down, which means that he was being met in the backfield. It is difficult to thrive under those circumstances. 

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