Statistical Expectations and Performance: Ball State

Sep 8, 2012; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) prior to the snap during the second quarter of the game against the Ball State Cardinals at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

We continue to track Clemson's statistical performance, now with the Ball State game.

On offense our expectation was to be inside the Top 25 nationally, with the goal of being between 10-20th in total offense and scoring. We might be able to revise this if the OL progresses, but eventually having youngsters will bite us. To evaluate what "Top 25" means, I had to go by last season's overall statistics for the Top 25 teams in offense. With the measureable being total yardage in each category. It may be unrealistic to expect us to be Top 25 in everything, but, if we're going for 10-20th, we'll be right up there.

This week I'll drop the 2011 comparison, and you can refer back to the Auburn post for those statistics.


Offensive Comparison
Category 2012 Top 25 Goal 2012 Top 15 Goal Ball State 2012 Season
Rushing Offense 192.08 217.23 154 237.
Passing 274.17 294.17 372 290.
Total 445.77 469.54 526 527.
Scoring 33.38 36.77 52 39
Pass efficiency 147.13 153.32 176.02 152.23
Turnovers Lost 18 17 0 1
Sacks allowed 1.29pg 1pg 0 2
3rd downs 45.83% 47% 67 57.14
Red Zone TD% 100% -

So we missed out on the rushing stats, despite rushing 40 times, compared to 44 pass attempts. We nailed the passing numbers, scoring, efficiency, and did really well on 3rd downs. The Red Zone percentage in previous years was scoring (TD + FG), but I haven't gone back and looked at the stat from previous years yet. Penalties came down to 7 for 63, more in line with last season, and werent as critical as against Auburn.

All these numbers are going to come down but we're doing pretty well.

The killer for us last year was rushing defense, which allowed 176ypg (83rd nationally). Pass defense finished 50th, at 217ypg, in a run-oriented conference. I think the talent and coaching is here to hit Top 40 this season. I'm just not certain there has been enough time of on-field coaching to get them any higher. We should be able to knock a TD per game off the scoring defense, from 29ppg to about 21-22ppg.

But that is not really the standard for good defense. Clemson defenses should be in the Top 20 every year. Realistically I think Top 40 is an achievable mark. We have other goals in mind, which are "ideal" situations for very good defense. We do not expect Clemson to hit them very often this season.

This week I left the Auburn stats in to look at the changes from the previous sorry performance.

Defensive Comparison
Category 2012 Top 40 2012 Top 20 Auburn Ball State 2012
Rushing Defense 132.69 113.54 180 252 216
Pass 208.71 192.31 194 128 161
Pass Efficiency 123.34 114.65 105.87 78.46 91.68
Total 351.69 323.92 374 380 377
Sacks 2.21 2.58 2 1 1.5
TFL 6.46 7.23 9 3 6
Interceptions 13 15 1 2 3
3rd Downs 36.73 34.24 30.77% 21 25.93
Scoring 23.08 20.31 19 27 23.0
Other Categories 2012 Goal
3rd & short 40% stop 1/4 = 25 100%
3rd & long 70% 87.5 78%
Plays over 25+ 0 3 2 5

Not a great week for the defense, and zero improvement in the most critical area of rush defense. The pass defense was outstanding overall, but I think after watching the game over and over, it was more a function of their QB stinking than good coverage by our guys. He couldn't hit anyone who was open and had big trouble gripping the ball. We could say the same thing about Kiehl Frazier too really. However, its a good performance statistically against the pass.

3rd down defense is encouraging, this was a problem area for some of Steele's teams. Venables tends to play it pretty safe in 3rd down situations. We stopped BS in all short-yardage on 3rd downs, and did well on 3rd & long again.

2 INTs in 29 attempts hits the mark of 1/15 att we were hoping for.

Sacks and TFL is what disappoints me most besides the rush defense. BS attempted 29 passes, and we got 1 sack. We should've had 3 by the mark of 1/10 attempts.

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