Sep 15, 2012; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney reacts during the second quarter of the game against the Furman Paladins at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE
We continue to track Clemson's statistical performance relative to our expectations, now with the Furman 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. The yardage goals are based on what it took to finish inside those rankings in 2011.
2012 Top 25 Goal
2012 Top 15 Goal
4/13 - 31%
Red Zone TD%
The Tigers continue to excel statistically in the passing game and total offensive numbers, but the lack of interior rushing this week, partly due to 3 starters being out up front, shows in the rushing yards. It also shows in the 3rd down conversion percentage, because we weren't getting enough yards on 1st & 2nd down runs to make the 3rd downs short. Clemson finished with 7.3 per play.
The offense was balanced, with 34 passes and 34 rushes, but the overall tempo was not good enough and we did not meet the goal of 85 plays against a 1-AA opponent. Currently, even though we're meeting most of the goals in these categories, we're just inside the Top 25-30 in the individual categories. Clemson's total offense is ranked 21st.
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.
2012 Top 40
2012 Top 20
3rd & short
3rd & long
Plays over 25+
We are actually good at some things. Our 3rd down defense is noticeably better, which is a little shocking given the inability to stop the run. Usually if we can get them to take 3 downs to convert we'll do a good job stopping them. The problem has been that they convert on 2nd down, and the busts. Red zone defense has been better as a result. The zone tightens up and we do a better job there. This is going to have to be our saving grace going forwards.
Furman converted 1/5 3rd downs of 5 or less, but after one stop on 3rd & 2 we committed a hold on 4th down to give the conversion. Clemson stopped them cold on 3rd & long, with 1 conversion in 9 attempts, but one 3rd & 6 got a holding call.
Pass rush is pitiful. Our goal is 1/10 attempts. We should get plenty of sacks against Furman and Ball State and we have not. Its not going to be much better in ACC play, and Venables will have to blitz much more to make up for it.
We were not as good on passing efficiency defense due to the high completion percentage of underneath passes by Furman. We nearly hit the mark of 1 INT per 15 attempts with 2 out of 31. The rush defense was within the marks, but honestly we should do better against Furman. Jerodis Williams ended up with 4.6 ypc.
Furman ended up with about 150 yards on just 4 plays. In just 8 plays, they recorded 220 yards. Busts in alignment, coverage responsibility and gap control made this game feel like we had last year's defense.
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