Numbers show offense unable to overcome Ellington loss


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Andre Ellington still leads the team in points scored with 72 despite missing four full games.
Andre Ellington still leads the team in points scored with 72 despite missing four full games.

CLEMSON – When Clemson running back Andre Ellington limped out of the interview room following the Tigers’ loss at Boston College on Oct. 30th, much of the Clemson offense hobbled out with him.

Ellington missed all but two plays of the final four games, and there is no doubt that his presence was missed by an offense that struggled to score points during the final four-game stretch. A look at the numbers bears that fact out as TigerNet takes a look at the numbers of the offense through the Boston College game – when Ellington was hurt late – and the final four.

In fact, we are taking a look at the final regular season numbers for the Clemson offense, and they are an interesting study. No opinions, just the facts. But some of the numbers are surprising, and we will start with what we will call the Ellington factor.

*The Tigers averaged 35.5 rushing attempts per game through Boston College, and averaged 36.5 attempts per game following that game. So the number of total rushes went up, but the difference in yards gained is stark. Clemson averaged 164.5 yards per game with Ellington, and 110.25 yards per game without Ellington. The number of pass attempts per game went from 29.25 apg to 33.5 afterward. Total offense didn’t take a huge hit, going from 342 ypg with Ellington to 328.74 without him.

Besides the rushing yards per game, the biggest difference is in the points per game – Clemson was averaging 27.75 ppg with Andre and just 16 ppg without him. In fact, the Tigers had only 33 offensive touchdowns on the season, and Ellington had 11 of those. Ellington also had Clemson’s only special teams touchdown of the season on a kickoff return, so he had 12 of Clemson’s 34 non-defensive touchdowns. [On a side note, of Clemson’s 33 offensive TDs, 13 came against North Texas and Presbyterian, so just 20 in 10 games against better competition.]

Another crazy stat regarding Ellington is that he still leads the team in points scored with 72, while freshman kicker Chandler Catanzaro is second with 68 points. Ellington is still sixth in the conference in rushing, and out of non-kickers is second in the league in scoring.

*Running Game: A lot of talk has centered on the perceived lack of commitment to the running game, but a look at the stats shows that the Tigers actually ran the football more than most ACC teams. So we took a look at three other ACC teams to see how the Tigers matched up.

We looked at one team that had to pass it and still had some success in UNC, and the two division winners in Florida St. and Virginia Tech. Clemson ran it 430 times for 1,757 yards, an average of 4.09 yards per rush. UNC ran the football 19 less times [411 attempts] and gained 1487 yards, or 270 yards less than the Tigers. FSU has quarterback Christian Ponder, but ran it three less times than the Tigers with 427 attempts. But the Noles ran it for 2,129 yards, or 372 yards more in the three less attempts. Virginia Tech ran the football 493 times [63 times more than Clemson] and gained a whopping 2,537 yards, 980 yards more than the Tigers. The Hokies averaged 5.14 yards per rush.

In the passing department, the Tigers completed 206-of-368 passes for 2,297 yards, with 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. UNC was 260-for-385 for 3,198 yards, with 18 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. So the Heels had 17 more passing attempts but had 901 more passing yards. FSU was 215-for-344 for 2,560 yards with 22 TDs and 10 interceptions. FSU had 24 less passing attempts than Clemson but had 263 more yards. The rushing-oriented Hokies were 166-for-282 for 2,365 yards with 20 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions. The Hokies had 86 less passing attempts than the Tigers and had 68 more passing yards.

Long story short, other teams got more bang for their buck in the passing game, and Clemson’s lack of success in the vertical passing game – hitting just the short and underneath routes – negatively impacted the running game.

*Around the ACC: In the ACC, out of 12 teams, the numbers tell more of the story. Clemson is 10th in scoring, 10th in total offense, 6th in rushing offense, 9th in passing offense, 8th in pass efficiency, and dead last in field goal percentage. Only Virginia made fewer field goals (12 to 11) but did it in four fewer attempts. The Tigers are 9th in first downs, 4th in first down conversions and dead last in fourth down conversions.

The fourth down conversions is interesting in that Clemson converted just 5-of-13 chances, while FSU led the league at 6-for-6. N.C. State went for it 19 times and converted 13 of them. Clemson was also last in the league in fourth down conversions allowed, giving up 8-of-12. Miami led the league, giving up just four first downs in 12 chances. FSU was second at 10-of-21.

In penalties, the Tigers ranked 7th in the league. They were penalized 72 times for 672 yards. However, for those that think the Tigers are picked on unfairly by the league’s officiating crews, Clemson game opponents were penalized the most this season in the ACC, drawing 85 flags for 800 yards, or 66.7 penalty yards per game. [As a side note, in 2008, the Tigers were also penalized 72 times and the opponents 85 times. It really has no bearing, but thought that was a neat stat.]


The Tigers are 9th in time of possession and 9th in turnover margin. In the red zone, the numbers are ugly. Clemson finished dead last in the red zone in the ACC, scoring 30-of-42 times for a percentage of 71.4. The Hokies led the league in the red zone, scoring 51-of-57 times, 36 of which were touchdowns. Clemson had 22 touchdowns in the red zone. On field goals, Clemson was just 8-for-14 in the red zone. If memory serves, at one point during the season [when Ellington was healthy] the Tigers were 18-for-21 in the red zone and one of the national leaders.

Clemson had no receivers crack the top 10 in the ACC in receptions or receiving yards, and quarterback Kyle Parker was 9th in the league in passing yards per game and 9th in passing efficiency, eclipsing Tanner Price of Wake Forest in both categories.

*The Dwayne Allen factor: Tight end Dwayne Allen had some outstanding games in 2010, but had only four receptions in the last four games. He finished the regular season with just 31 receptions, and had one receiving touchdown. He had five games with just one catch, and one game with zero catches. Of note is that he had two games with seven catches, one game with five catches and one game with three – and Clemson lost all four of those. So 22 of his 31 receptions came in four games, and all were losses. Not sure if he wasn’t targeted, but the general feeling I get is that late in the year defenses stacked the box against the Tigers daring them to throw the football, and Allen was forced to either run block or pass block.

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Subject (Replies: 43) Author
spacer Numbers show offense unable to overcome Ellington loss
Crump®
spacer Our offense wasn't productive when AE was healthy...
KNIGHTIGER
spacer Yah, I really doubt the result would be any different***
ashetige®
spacer Numbers show offense not able to overcome Dabo and Billy***
Tigerfansince1972®
spacer I wish I could give you 1,000 points!!***
deleted
spacer Do the guy asking how to make Napier's 2010 into a positive
CUAtTheFinishLine®
spacer In all seriousness...
KNIGHTIGER
spacer There wasn't a positive spin, it was only stats, how
charlestontiger84
spacer If you only point out favorable stats, that's spin. E.g...
Razzmatazz
spacer that article was awful....only pointed out good things
Tigerfansince1972®
spacer That is ludicrous...I saw nothing positive.
endorfiend
spacer Good analysis, the numbers speak for themselves!
charlestontiger84
spacer Here are the numbers that speak the loudest:
Flying Tiger®
spacer I like how we ran the ball MORE when AE got hurt
T22Bone22
spacer Actually we ran the ball 2% less of the time after AE
BigTimeTiger®
spacer Do the numbers explain why we didn't see more of
clover65®
spacer Re: Do the numbers explain why we didn't see more of
SquishyWaffle
spacer Re: Should've had North Texas and PC
gholliday
spacer Kickers are most often the highest scorer but that is
clover65®
spacer Re: Numbers show offense unable to overcome Ellington loss
TigerFanClint
spacer Re: Numbers show offense unable to overcome Ellington loss
Fatcat®
spacer I don't see much spin here...the facts show we didn't get it
CU72Tiger®
spacer Our inability to produce in the RZ got exposed when
TigersAndCubs
spacer Yes. Clemson ranks 115th in red zone offense.
Razzmatazz
spacer RedZone success is all about coaching & play selection.***
deleted
spacer Dayum, I never would have guessed. Our only playmaker is
Cdixon11
spacer Did you read the entire article or just stop at the first
CU72Tiger®
spacer Re: Numbers show offense unable to overcome Ellington loss
billymac
spacer If you are looking for something other than Doom and Gloom
TigersAndCubs
spacer Yeah! Accept Clemson's lousy coaching like a TRUE fan!
Razzmatazz
spacer Ellington played vs UNC, BC, Maryland. This offense was
citadelcock
spacer Why did our stupid coaches EVENLY split carries w/AE & JH?
Razzmatazz
spacer Hey Razz...
RU4GOD2®
spacer Sorry for inculcating ad naseum.***
Razzmatazz
spacer ad nauseum***
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Numbers show offense unable to overcome Ellington loss
throck
spacer Numbers show we should play North Texas and PC more***
orangeday
spacer Actually the third straight pumper article declaring
silvavocati
spacer Nice Damage Control
McRib
spacer So 4 star Jaime Harper was what Dabo called a great back
AikenC
spacer the ellington factor doesnt matter...
tgrfan42069
spacer Same injury>
clemsongirl82
spacer AE's was more severe broken bone and tendon or ligament
yourhero
spacer Re: AE's was more severe broken bone and tendon or ligament
clemsongirl82
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