Venables/Clemson Defensive Comparison

We need to compare the performance of Clemson's defense over the past 11 seasons to that of Brent Venables' squads at Oklahoma over the same time period. Previously, we looked at OU's performance under BV and compared Oklahoma's defense to Texas/other teams under similar circumstances. The data found for this post were found at http://coachesbythenumbers.com and http://footballoutsiders.com.

Here is how Clemson performed over this time period.

Year

Def. Coordinator

Record

Rush YPG

Pass YPG

Total Def. (YPG)

Yards Per Play

Scoring (PPG)

2001

Reggie Herring

7-5

163.91

226

389.91

5.34

28.64

2002

John Lovett

7-6

158.15

197.23

355.38

5.03

26.85

2003

John Lovett

9-4

131.85

204.46

336.31

4.86

19.23

2004

John Lovett

6-5

135.64

191.64

327.27

4.36

20.82

2005

Vic Koenning

8-4

120.58

196

316.58

4.73

17.58

2006

Vic Koenning

8-5

103.08

177.69

280.77

4.3

16.15

2007

Vic Koenning

9-4

118.31

188.46

306.77

4.55

18.69

2008

Vic Koenning

7-6

127.38

172.54

299.92

4.48

17.31

2009

Kevin Steele

9-5

151.5

162.79

314.29

4.55

20.43

2010

Kevin Steele

6-7

128.46

191.85

320.31

4.81

18.77

2011

Kevin Steele

10-4

176.86

217.5

394.36

5.6

29.29

These numbers--particularly the ones in the middle of this timeframe--are good numbers that should allow the Tigers to be successful. Lovett even looks like a good coordinator in some of these statistical showings, though we know he is merely average at best. Also, while we never really liked Koenning's style of reactive defense, he did field a good enough defense to win games. It just turned out that his scheme tended to sacrifice late leads in games. In fact, here is how Clemson fared in terms of defensive FEI rankings from 2007 to 2010 before falling to 50th this past season.

Year

Team

Overall FEI Def. Ranking

2007

Clemson

10

2008

Clemson

9

2009

Clemson

16

2010

Clemson

15

2011

Clemson

50

Here is how these rankings compare to OU over the past five years.

Clemson_ou_def_fei_rankings_medium

Overall, OU averaged 11th overall and Clemson 20th over this time period. The lone unacceptable season for either squad was Clemson's '11 campaign that ultimately cost Kevin Steele his job.

We showed you Clemson's per game averages from the past 11 seasons and compare these numbers to Venables' at OU through the table below. Notice that we use Venables' statistics as the baseline, so negative numbers mean Oklahoma gave up fewer yards (or whatever the statistic) than Clemson.

Year

Delta Rush YPG

Delta Pass YPG

Delta Total Def. (YPG)

Delta Yards Per Play

Delta Scoring (PPG)

2001

-73.99

-53.08

-127.08

-1.46

-14.8

2002

-50.29

-11.94

-62.24

-0.61

-11.4

2003

-18.64

-58.03

-76.67

-0.73

-3.9

2004

-41.02

12.74

-28.27

0.43

-4.0

2005

-30

20.08

-9.91

-0.3

5.5

2006

-4.37

10.74

6.37

0.39

1.1

2007

-8.02

39.61

31.59

0.43

1.6

2008

-11.17

78.96

67.79

0.69

7.2

2009

-58.58

16.9

-41.67

-0.46

-5.9

2010

20.47

21.08

41.55

0.26

3.0

2011

-42.17

23.96

-18.21

-0.45

-7.2

If you are trending at home, this data shows that Clemson was largely better defensively from '05 to '08 (under Koenning) and mostly trailed OU in other seasons, sans the 2010 campaign. See below for graphs and analysis for these categories.

Clemson_ou_ppg_medium

Clemson was clearly inferior to Oklahoma for six of these seasons in terms of scoring. The first couple seasons and last year's campaign were much worse than OU's. I also note that OU's worst season saw the Sooners give up 24.5 points per game. Clemson had three seasons worse than this including last season's 29.3 points per game.

Clemson_ou_ypg_medium

The yards per game mirrored scoring. Clemson gave up more yards that Venables' defenses in seven of eleven years analyzed with last season being the worst for either university.

Clemson_ou_ypp_medium

We also need to look at offensive plays per game and time of possession (the thought being that both offenses want to run as many plays as possible to extend the game, thus more offensive plays also means more defensive plays as well).

Here is how the play breakout looked since 2007:

Clemson_ou_offensive_plays_medium

Notice that Oklahoma ran more plays than Clemson in each season except 2007 including last season which implies that OU's defense is pressed as much or more than CU's over the past five seasons. The time of possession statistics (below) show that Oklahoma was able to hold the ball longer than CU in each season except 2007. This implies, since Oklahoma runs a lot of offensive plays, that the defense is able to limit the number of first downs the opposition and gets the ball back to its offense fairly quickly.

Clemson_ou_time_of_poss_medium

To confirm this, we looked at third down conversion percentage (allowed). These data (below) support the concept that Oklahoma historically did a better job of denying the opposition third down conversions than Clemson.

Clemson_ou_third_down_percentage_medium

Overall, Venables and Oklahoma were better than Clemson defensively over time periods examined in this article. Further, Clemson installed the hurry up offense for 2011 and the numbers went down the toilet for our Tigers. OU, on the other hand, was fairly consistent and successful outside of some struggles in the middle of the decade. We'll be interested in seeing if/how Venables corrects issues that arose last season and (likely) are associated with the introduction of Chad Morris' offensive philosophy.

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