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Statistical Expectations and Performance: Auburn

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ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 01:  Vic Beasley #3 of the Clemson Tigers sacks Kiehl Frazier #10 of the Auburn Tigers at Georgia Dome on September 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 01: Vic Beasley #3 of the Clemson Tigers sacks Kiehl Frazier #10 of the Auburn Tigers at Georgia Dome on September 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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We're going to track the team's measureable statistics each week and compare them to a standard set of goals and our expectations. First, we'll restate the "ideal" goals on offense and defense in terms of things like yardage, without comparing them nationally at this point. For now, national stats mean zilch.

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.

Clemson finished 26th in total offense in 2011, with 440.79 ypg. Houston led the nation in total offense at 599.07 ypg. Below is where Clemson finished in 2011, the goals set by the 2011 marks for 2012, and the performance this week against Auburn.

Offensive Comparison
Category 2011 finish 2011 Rank 2012 Top 25 Goal 2012 Top 15 Goal Auburn
Rushing Offense 158.5 59th 192.08 217.23 320
Passing 282.29 21 274.17 294.17 208
Total 440.79 26 445.77 469.54 528
Scoring 33.57 24 33.38 36.77 26
Pass efficiency 138.6 42 147.13 153.32 122.23
Turnovers Lost 24 72 18 17 1
Sacks allowed 2.31pg 85 1.29pg 1pg 4
3rd downs 43.32% 35 45.83% 47% 47%
Red Zone Scoring 80% 72 87% 89% 100%

Note that red zone scoring is counting the total number of drives that went inside the red zone, which ended in points, not Touchdowns. We'll probably change that going forward.

Clemson hit all the marks in rushing, red zone scoring, 3rd down conversion rate, and they hit the goal of 85 plays per game on offense.

Defense after the jump

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.

Defensive Comparison
Category 2011 finish 2011 Rank 2012 Top 40 2012 Top 20 Auburn
Rushing Defense 176.87 83rd 132.69 113.54 180
Pass 217.50 50 208.71 192.31 194
Pass Efficiency 133.50 74 123.34 114.65 105.87
Total 394.36 71 351.69 323.92 374
Sacks 1.71pg 76 2.21 2.58 2
TFL 5.07pg 86 6.46 7.23 9
Interceptions 14 31 13 15 1
3rd Downs 40.95% 73 36.73 34.24 30.77%
Scoring 29.29ppg 81 23.08 20.31 19
Other Categories 2012 Goal
3rd & short 40% 25%
3rd & long 70% 87.5%
Plays over 25+ 0 3

Clemson achieved 2 sacks on 27 attempted passes, just short of the 1/10 rate that is the better goal. One interception in 27 is also short of the 1/15 goal.

Note the INTs is total above, and makes no accounting of attempts faced or the #/game, so we'll probably change that going forward. We're only comparing to last year so you'll have a better basis of comparison.

Overall, I think we're still capable of Top 40 at a minimum. We hit the scoring, total 3rd down percentage, TFL, Pass D and efficiency, which tells you all about Kiehl Frazier. Looking at the playcharts, we noticed Clemson did very well on 3rd & long, but 3rd & short needs some work. I called one 3rd & 5 a short situation. Auburn converted 3/4.