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Clemson Defense Dominates NC State

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Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It took 18 minutes of gameplay for Clemson to get to garbage time. Five drives and they were up by 28 in the second quarter. At that moment the probability of Clemson winning the game was 99%. That is a good day at the office, and on both sides of the ball it was because of performance. There was no lucking out and catching a few breaks. This was a straight up domination. Let's go to the charts.

Opponent Georgia FSU UNC NC State
Line Yards 117.8 91.4 101.6 87.3
Highlight Yards 29 25.5 19 36.5
Opportunity Rate 12/37 - 32% 10/37 - 27% 9/38 - 24% 12/20 - 60%
Success Rate 26/69 - 38% 25/71 - 35% 31/80 - 39% 22/38 - 58%
Power Success Rate 5/7 - 71% 2/5 - 40% 1/1 - 100% 1/1 - 100%
Stuff Rate 4/37 - 11% 5/37 - 14% 8/38 - 21% 2/20 - 10%
Sack Rate 2/32 - 6% 1/34 - 3% 3/42 - 7% 1-18 - 6%
Explosive Drives 1 1 3 3
Methodical Drives 3 1 2 2
Value Drives 4 3 6 2
Total Drives 13 15 15 5


Advanced Stats Glossary

So, Clemson's offense basically moved at will which explains why it took 5 drives to get 28 points. I do want to highlight the running game today. Both to look at how well it performed as well as to look at how terrible it has been. In 20 rushes Clemson managed to get 87.3 line yards. In any other game this season that would have gotten us about 160 line yards. That's a pretty good number, UGA only had 110 against us and they had a field day running. Our highlight yards were also the highest of the season and we had slightly over half the rushes of previous games.

Obviously part of this has to do with the decision to finally give Wayne Gallman the start. He performed extremely well, outside of one stop for 0 yards his 8 carries had a minimum gain of 3 yards. That's some pretty good work. We also have to credit the OL. Now Metal_Tiger will be along later in the week to look at technique and where it can improve, but the OL at least performed well enough to let Gallman get some yardage. That's a marked turn from previous games where it seemed to be a matter of time before we created our own version of the Butt Fumble.

Opponent Georgia FSU UNC NC State
Line Yards 110.2 41.8 66.9 7
Highlight Yards 147 19 19.5 0
Opportunity Rate 15/32 - 47% 5/21 - 24% 6/23 - 26% 0/6 - 0%
Success Rate 25/59 - 42% 22/66 - 33% 21/68 - 31% 0/12 - 0%
Power Success Rate 1/3 - 33% 1/1 - 100% 2/3 - 67% 0/0 - 0%
Stuff Rate 5/32 - 16% 7/21 - 33% 4/23 - 17% 3/6 - 50%
Sack Rate 1/27 - 4% 5/45 - 11% 3/45 - 7% 1/6 - 17%
Explosive Drives 4 2 1 0
Methodical Drives 1 0 2 0
Value Drives 4 2 3 0
Total Drives 14 15 12 4

As good as the offense was, Clemson's defense may have been even better. All 4 drives were 3 and outs. There were no first downs, no gains of more than 3 yards on the ground, and no completions. This is literally the best a defense can perform on these statistics. NC State did not have a single successful play while the outcome of the game was in doubt. Half of their rushes were stopped for no gain and the ones that succeeded went for 2, 2, and 3 yards respectively. The 5 passing attempts that weren't sacks resulted in incompletions.  I could go on, but I'm beating a dead horse.

Finally as a note, I've gotten access to the play-by-play data for every FBS game this season. One of the downsides to these numbers is providing context with other teams in the country and I hope to begin providing that in the next week or so. As always if there is anything you're interested in seeing here let me know in the comments.