CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Clemson largely held up against the run, but Pitt's Pickett found holes in the secondary and had some key scrambles.
Clemson largely held up against the run, but Pitt's Pickett found holes in the secondary and had some key scrambles.

By the numbers: Clemson offensive woes worsen, defense slips spots too


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One of but a few bright spots for Clemson in the national rankings comes with its own caveat.

By the numbers, Clemson moved up to No. 1 nationally in both red zone defense (.600 scoring allowed) and red zone TD percentage (.250), but that's in part a product of both Pittsburgh offensive TDs Saturday being explosive plays from outside the red zone (23-yard and 39-yard passes).

It's been that kind of a season.

Despite Pitt matching the most points scored on Clemson this season (27; a TD being a Clemson pick-six in that), the Tigers still rank third overall in scoring defense, but the group did slip in total defense (37th), third-down defense (50th) and passing defense (52nd).

And that's while woeful offensive numbers largely only went further south, with triple-digit ranks now in passing offense - 111 (176.1), scoring offense - 113 (20.5), total offense - 117 (321.3), completion percentage - 117 (.547), passing yards per completion - 122 (10.1), passing efficiency - 124 (103.17) and fourth down offense - 128 (.200).

With ESPN's Football Power Index, the offense ranks 93rd adjusting for strength of schedule and more factors, with a fourth-best offense and top-25 special teams group (22).

A more complete stat look just past midseason:

Clemson's stat profile through seven games

Team

Top-10 ranks: Red zone defense - 1 (.600; No. 1 in red zone TD percentage - .250), scoring defense - T-3 (14.6).

Top-25 ranks: Fumbles lost - 11 (2), tackles for loss allowed - 12 (3.14), kickoff return defense - 17 (16.8), pass efficiency defense - 18 (113.93).

Top-50 ranks: Punt return defense - 26 (3.75), rushing defense - 29 (120), tackles for loss - 34 (5.9 PG), total defense - 37 (336), turnover margin - 46 (.29), team sacks - 48 (2.43 PG), turnovers lost - 46 (8), sacks allowed - 48 (1.86), third down defense - 50 (.371).

75th or worse: net punting - 79 (38.2), penalty yards per game - 83 (60), punt returns - 85 (6.5), third down offense - 85 (.379), rushing offense - 85 (145.1), blocked punts allowed - 86 (1), fewest penalties per game - 102 (7.29), fourth down defense - 104 (.667), passing offense - 111 (176.1), scoring offense - 113 (20.5), time of possession - 117 (27:02), total offense - 117 (321.3), completion percentage - 117 (.547), passing yards per completion - 122 (10.1), passing efficiency - 124 (103.17), fourth down offense - 128 (.200).

Individual

Top-25 ranks: Joseph Ngata - yards per reception (15th; 19.56), BT Potter - field goal percentage (18th; .875).

Top-50 ranks: RJ Mickens - total INTs (37th; 2), INTs per game (49th; 0.3); James Skalski- total tackles (44th; 8.4).

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