Clemson football by the numbers: Defense buckles under pressure, attrition in Raleigh


by - Staff Writer -
NC State challenged Andrew Booth and won some of those matchups Saturday.
NC State challenged Andrew Booth and won some of those matchups Saturday.

Clemson dropped in basically any statistical category we're tracking out of the 27-21 double OT loss at NC State.

For the defense, some of the figures are understandable given that they were nearly on the field for 100 plays -- due quite a bit in part to another poor offensive effort -- and saw several key players go down to injury during the game.

The lone top-level performances still reside on that side of the ball with top-10 rankings in scoring defense (No. 5; 12 PPG) and red zone defense (No. 9; .583), with the total defense mark falling outside the top-25 now (26th; 293.8 YPG) and the rushing defense dropping to 45th (116.8 YPG).

The biggest defensive drop came on third down, from a top-10 ranking to 48th (.343) after NC State converted 11-of-21 there.

Something to watch going forward, Clemson has finished No. 1 or 2 in tackles for loss in all but 2017 (No. 6) going back to the 2013 season, but Brent Venables' group is currently 35th (7 per game). The Tigers rank 59th in sacks.

The already putrid offensive figures managed to get worse with triple-digit ranks now in completion percentage (102nd; .567), scoring offense (105th; 22 PPG), sacks allowed (111th; 3.5 per), passing offense (115th; 169.2 YPG), passing efficiency (117th; 105.6), total offense (121st; 295.5), passing yards per completion (125th; 9.4) and fourth down offense (125th; 0-for-3).

Clemson's stat profile through three games

Team

Top-10 ranks: Scoring defense - 5 (12 PPG), red zone defense - 9 (.583; No. 4 in red zone TD percentage - .250).

Top-25 ranks: Tackles for loss allowed - 20 (4 PG), pass efficiency defense - 21 (110.79).

Top-50 ranks: Total defense - 26 (293.8 YPG), passing defense - 31 (177), red zone TD percentage - 31 (73.3%), tackles for loss - 36 (7 PG), punt return defense - 41 (4.2), rushing defense - 45 (116.8), punt returns - 45 (10.33), third down defense - 48 (.343).

75th or worse: turnovers lost - 76 (6), sacks allowed - 80 (2.25), turnover margin - 82 (-0.25), fourth down defense - 85 (.600), passes had intercepted - 85 (4), red zone offense - 88 (.800), penalty yards per game - 91 (63.5), rushing offense - 99 (126.2), scoring offense - 105 (22), completion percentage - 102 (.567), kickoff return defense - 105 (25), sacks allowed - 111 (3.5), passing offense - 115 (169.2), fewest penalties per game 116 (8.25), passing efficiency - 117 (105.57), total offense - 121 (295.5), passing yards per completion - 125 (9.4), fourth down offense - 125 (.000), time of possession - 125 (25:40).

Individual

Top-50 ranks: Fumbles recovered - Ruke Orhorhoro and Jack Maddox - 19th (1); total tackles - Baylon Spector - 20th (9.3 PG); Will Shipley - rushing TDs - 20th (5), total touchdowns - 35th (5), punt returns - Will Taylor - 22nd (10.7); Justyn Ross - receiving TDs - 30th (3), receptions per game - 49th (5.5).

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