The Tiger Ten

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TigerNet brings you a new feature called the Tiger Ten that takes a look at some of the important stats from each Clemson football game.

The Tiger Ten:

10. Last year against Auburn, Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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had 10 receptions for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns. His longest reception was for 65 yards. This year against Auburn, the longest pass was for only 25 yards. Hopkins more than made up for Watkins’ absence, but Clemson missed Watkins’ big play capability.

9. Last season, it took Boyd 4 games to rush for over 50 yards. This season, he surpassed that in the first game. The coaches have set a goal for him to rush for over 700 yards (that works out to just over 50 ypg). It was Boyd’s ability to run that sealed the victory for Clemson. Offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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has said that one of the biggest areas of his offense that has not been implemented yet is the QB run. The two biggest concerns with the QB run have to be: 1.) Ability for Boyd to keep his helmet on (came off 3 times this game). The offense can’t have him coming off the field breaking momentum, but I am sure the equipment guys will get that fixed before Ball State. 2.) Ability for him to dodge injury. He already has an ACL tear from high school and getting hit can wear on a QB throughout the games and season.

8. Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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’s accuracy was very similar between this year and last year. Boyd’s accuracy was 71.4% last year against Auburn, compared to 70.5% this year. That 70.5% was low because of how many drops there were (my rough count is 5). If those balls are caught, his accuracy jumps up to just under 90%. Improved accuracy should give Clemson confidence that Boyd could have a special season.

7. The biggest difference between last year’s Boyd against Auburn and this year’s Boyd is touchdown passes. Last year, Boyd threw 4 touchdowns (2-Watkins, 1-Hopkins, and 1-Allen). This year Boyd only threw 1 touchdown (1-Hopkins). Once Watkins is back, the passing game (and TDs) should open up more.

6. The offensive line was impressive in the run game. Clemson’s rushing offense was able to improve from 4.76 ypc last year against Auburn to 6.15 ypc this year. (Ellington’s acrobatics might have had a little to do with that too.) This is good, because last year the offensive line struggled in the run game. Seeing this kind of improvement against a decent D-Line and an All-SEC caliber player like Corey Lemonier should give Tiger fans hope for the rest of the season.

5. On the flip side, the offensive line struggled on pass defense (which is something they were decent at last year). Last year against Auburn, Clemson’s offensive line gave up zero sacks compared to 4 this year. And this is with a more mobile Boyd.

4. Jonathan MeeksJonathan Meeks
Sr. Safety
#5 6-1, 210
Rock Hill, SC

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has Auburn’s number. Last year, Meeks led Clemson with 7 solo tackles and 1 assisted against Auburn. On Saturday, he lead the team again with 5 solo tackles and 4 assisted.

3. Good or bad thing? Venables’ defense faired only slightly better than Steele’s defense. Last year, Barrett Trotter went 12 for 25 for 198 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. This year, Kiehl Frazier almost mirrored that going 11 for 27 for 194 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT.

Last year, Clemson’s defense allowed Auburn to rush for 237 yards. Michael Dyer led all rushers with 151 yards and 2 TDs. This year Clemson’s defense only allowed 180 yards. Tre Mason led Auburn with 106 yards and no TDs. The biggest statistical difference in defense between this year and last year is rushing touchdowns and red zone touchdowns. This year Clemson’s defense did not allow any rushing touchdowns, compared to 2 last year. And Clemson’s red zone defense did not allow any touchdowns this year compared to 1 last year.

2. Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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moved up to 8th on the Clemson’s all-time rushing list with 2,586 career rushing yards. He passed Buddy Gore (1966-68, 2,571 yards) after his performance against Auburn. He is currently 175 yards behind Woody Dantzler for 7th. Assuming Clemson makes a bowl game, Ellington only needs to average 115 yds/ game to pass Raymond Priester (3,966 yards) as the all-time leading Clemson rusher. While we’re at it, we’ll take a look at the Clemson single season rushing record. It is currently held by Raymond Priester, who rushed for 1,345 yards in 1996. Ellington needs to average just over 93 ypg (assuming a bowl game) to break Priester’s record.

1. Right now, both Ellington and Hopkins are national leaders at their respective positions. Ellington leads the nation in rushing with his 231-yard performance. And not only did Hopkins break the Clemson single game reception record (Airese Currie – 12 rec, MTSU 2003), he is currently tied for first for most receptions in the nation.
Looking towards next week…Ball State used 96 plays (55 rushes for 329 yards and 41 pass attempts for 267 yards) to defeat Eastern Michigan 37-26 which could set the Over/Under at 180 plays next week.

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