Statistical Comparison--Clemson vs. Virginia Tech Edition

Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

It’s time to take another look at the efficiency related stats again this week as the Hokies roll into Death Valley for a Saturday afternoon tilt. The majority of these stats are possession based and correlate positively, historically, with offensive points scored and defensive points allowed.

We’ll start with the offensive stats in comparison to the Virginia Tech defense.

OFFENSE

Category

Avg.

Top 10%

Clemson

RANK

VT Def

Plays/G

71.4

80.2

82.2

8

72.1

Poss/G

11.7

13.0

12.2

30

11.8

Pts/Poss

2.5

3.5

3.4

17

1.9

Red Zone Opps/Poss

34%

45%

40%

35

29%

Plays/Poss

6.1

6.9

6.8

18

6.1

Scores/Poss

42%

56%

58%

9

31%

TDs/Poss

32%

47%

41%

30

23%

Negative Plays/G

7.3

5.4

5.8

20

8.7

3rd Down Convs/G

6.0

7.5

9.0

2

5.4

TDs/G

3.8

5.6

5.0

23

2.7

Red Zone Opps/G

4.0

5.4

4.8

26

3.4

The Clemson offense ranks in the top 25 in nearly all of these categories so far this—this should not come as a huge surprise as Tajh Boyd and crew have been consistent, efficient and explosive through six games.

They are running an incredible amount of plays, converting a bunch of 3rd downs each game (three more 3rd down conversions per game than the national average) and scoring on more than half the times they touch the ball. Obviously, this will need to continue on Saturday despite one of the stronger, better coached defenses that the Tigers will face this year.

DEFENSE

Category

Avg.

Top 10%

Clemson

RANK

VT Off

Plays/G

70.9

63.3

68.0

41

66.6

Poss/G

11.1

12.5

11.1

58

12.4

Pts/Poss

2.3

1.5

2.5

70

2.5

Red Zone Opps/Poss

32%

22%

36%

84

25%

Plays/Poss

6.4

5.6

6.1

45

5.4

Scores/Poss

39%

26%

42%

77

41%

TDs/Poss

29%

16%

30%

70

31%

Negative Plays/G

8.0

10.8

6.7

87

7.6

3rd Down Convs/G

5.8

4.5

4.5

13

5.6

TDs/G

3.3

1.8

3.3

66

3.9

Red Zone Opps/G

3.6

2.5

4.0

81

3.1

As has been the case for the entire season, the only stat that the Tigers defense has excelled at so far is on third down—fewer than 5 third down conversions per game so far. Of course, part of the reason for that is because they are giving up a LOT of big yardage plays on 1st and 2nd down, as evidenced by the #40 ranking in total first downs allowed so far this year. To many points per possession, too many opponent possessions getting to the red zone, not nearly enough negative plays. The stats back up the story and play we’ve see on the field.

From a match-up perspective, this weeks’ game pits strength against strength and weakness against weakness. The Clemson offense, thus far, is an elite offense in college football whereas the Virginia Tech is just above average—ranking in the high 30s to high 40s in most of these categories. Even within the units, when looking pass vs. run effectiveness, the relative strength vs. relative strength continues. The Clemson rushing attack ranks 32nd in the nation in yards per game against the 70th rank rushing defense for the Hokies while the passing game ranks 11th against the 37th ranked passing defense.

The Tigers should be able to move the ball into the red zone—once again, how these two units perform when the Tigers get inside the 20 could well be the difference in the game. Clemson ranks 3rd in the nation in Red Zone Scoring percentage—getting points in all but one drive into the red zone. However, after the past few games, they’ve dropped to 34th in red zone TD %. Virginia Tech’s ranks 20th (tied for Clemson ironically) in opponents RZ scoring % and 29th in TD scoring percentage only allowing TDs in ½ of their opponents’ red zone opportunities. Key that the Clemson offense continues to operate efficiently and effectively when they get inside the 20 and not get bogged down (and perhaps not waste plays on trickeration).

When the Hokies have the ball, it’s a below average offensive unit against a below average defensive unit. Both units had a positive 2nd half in their respective last games. Does that momentum continue for these units or was it an anomaly—a lone bright spot in what will continue to be a season marred by under performance.

Clemson’s defense is giving up 2.5 points per possession just as Virginia Tech is scoring 2.5 points per possession…fairly easy to say that they will score in that neighborhood on Saturday and will likely get about 12 possessions—which results in about 30 points scored…the Clemson offense can easily put up 30+, but not if they turn the ball over, not if they can’t run the ball (which they should be able to do against this defense) and if they can’t churn through first downs to sustain drives. Logan Thomas ranks 71st in the nation in pass efficiency—the Tiger D, at a minimum, must make him play in that range and not make him look like the second coming of Cam Newton’s senior year at Auburn. If they contain Thomas and keep coverage fairly tight, there should be some INT opportunities—they must capitalize on those and get the ball back in Tajh’s hands. Nobody expects the Tiger D to dominate, but they have to make enough plays to hold on.

The trusty old prediction thinks they’ll do just enough and squeak out a 33-30 victory. So, take your Tums early Saturday, Tiger fans, it’s likely to be another nail biter.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Shakin The Southland

You must be a member of Shakin The Southland to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Shakin The Southland. You should read them.

Join Shakin The Southland

You must be a member of Shakin The Southland to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Shakin The Southland. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker