Ohio State v. Clemson: Statistical Overview

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

This late in the season is when statistics become good indicators, here we lay out the normal plus some advanced statistics of the two teams and allow you to compare them for yourself.

NCAA Statistics 2013

Clemson Ohio State
Total Offense (rank) 502 (11) 518.5 (7)
Rushing Offense 172.7 (62) 317.5 (3)
Passing Offense 329.3 (11) 200.9 (91)
Passing Eff. 162.07 (8) 158.78 (10)
Scoring Offense 40.2 (8) 46.3 (3)
3rd down Conversions
44.0 (40th)
49.4 (12)
Total Defense 350.8 (22) 362.2 (30)
Run Defense 152.6 (51) 102.6 (6)
Pass Defense 198.3 (17) 259.5 (103)
Pass Eff. Defense 111.14 (16) 129.6 (74)
Scoring Defense 21.1 (18) 21.3 (22)
3rd down Pct Defense 31.8 (8th) 34.4 (26)
TFL 9.4 (1) 6.8 (28)
TFL allowed 7.4 (113) 3.54 (3)
Sacks 2.75 (22) 3.08 (6)
Sacks allowed 2.75 (104) 1.31 (24)
Red Zone Offense 85.7% (41) 95.6 (4)
Red Zone Defense 80% (37) 79.5 (35)
Punting Net 37.6 (45) 40.0 (12)
Punt Return 8.3 (60) 8.86 (56)
Kickoff Return 18.15 (114) 22.96 (38)
PR defense 6.57 (42) 16.43 (119)
KR defense 19.46 (25) 18.14 (11)
Penalties 4.8 (34) 5.15 (45)
Turnover Margin 0.3 (38) 0.5 (27)

The table shows where the problem with Clemson's offense lies and where the film reviews have pointed all season: offensive line. Our rushing numbers didn't pick up from last season. Its not why we lost the two games we lost, but the lack of a running game has been apparent all year. Sacks allowed has not improved here since Chad's offense came in, and TFL allowed shows the penetration they regularly allow. This, along with Ohio State's strength being their front 7, gives one pause. I doubt we have much success on the ground and it will be imperative to keep Tajh Boyd upright.

The film has shown Ohio State's strength to be the OL, Carlos Hyde, and Braxton Miller, and this bears out. They don't let many people touch Miller and most who get by just miss him. Their offense is very similar to our own and this is what our team should look like statistically. If we could run the ball as well as they do, nearly every lower mark on our offense would be equal to theirs. They lack talent and playmakers at WR to match us here.

I would have Sammy Watkins returning punts instead of Adam Humphries in this game.

Now the advanced statistical rankings.

Clemson Ohio State
Defensive FEI Rank 16 36
Defensive Eff (unadjusted) Rank 14 53
First Down Rate 3 36
Available Yards 6 31
Explosive Drives 48 63
Methodical Drives 10 80
S&P+ Rank 11 40
Pass 14 59
Rushing 14 37
Drive Efficiency 12 33
Defensive F/+ 13 35

Clemson's big black mark is the explosive plays, which we know to be due to the two safeties and underneath middle coverage. We rarely give up long drives and often hold opponents to 3 & outs.

Film on Ohio State shows their secondary to have one really good player and little else, they also don't tackle very well in the back end and the LBs don't do a great job either with their drops. They are tougher up front than this table indicates though, and though I'm not scared of this defense, they are capable of playing at a higher level in the front 7 and shutting our run game down.

Clemson Ohio State
Offensive FEI Rank 27 4
Offensive Eff 25 2
First Down Rate 48 2
Available Yards 26 4
Explosive Drives 29 3
Methodical Drives 64 94
S&P Rank 13 3
Pass 8 16
Rush 42 1
Drive Efficiency 13 3
Offensive F/+ 17 2

Clemson's deficiencies again point to OL and the running game overall. Neither team churns clock and both will hit you with big plays, but the ability to run the ball at will makes them a better offensive team overall.

But the real question in my mind, that can't be answered from this, is whether a mentally prepared Clemson team will show up in Miami or not.

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