We have concerns regarding the defensive line's experience. These concerns are very similar to the items we discussed and looked at regarding offensive line experience earlier today. What we've done to assess this experience issue is gather participation numbers, create charts, graphs, and tables, then try to explain what all these pieces of data really mean. Again, I'll point out that these numbers were attained directly from the CUAD (www.clemsontigers.com). "ST" below indicates the player only played on special teams. We are solely concerned about offensive plays and do not factor any ST snaps into the information below.
Like the previous assessment, we will present both total stats and statistics from the only game against a major conference team Clemson has played this season--Auburn. First and foremost, below we show how the defensive line snap disbursement played out for the year, followed by the plays per class. What you will notice is that Clemson is very heavily relying on the current sophomore class to carry this team. Clemson essentially has Goodman as a senior and nothing in its junior class. Reader played six snaps against Auburn but all in all, the freshmen are, well, doing what freshmen do--learning and adapting to the college game.
We put a premium on the Auburn game as that was the biggest and most competitive game so far for this young season. Below is the snap count breakout by player and by class. These data are pretty consistent with the items discussed above (much more consistent that what we saw out of our OL--which played only starters in the Dome and really needed reserves to get snaps the past two games). What this tells me is pretty obvious: coaches still need to get the starters their work and were not comfortable using the last three quarters against FU/BSU to get the reserves as many snaps as they did for other positions.
As you can see, it will be Goodmanand the Sophomores this year. This means that both fans and coaches will have to be patient with this group because they have to play to get experience.
--Data set is pasted after the jump/below