The Tiger Ten

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The Tiger Ten returns with a look back at the Georgia Tech game and a look ahead to Virginia Tech. We once again start with DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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and his assault on the Clemson record books.

10.) DeAndre Hopkins’ 173 receiving yards on Saturday moves his season average up to an ACC leading 129.5 receiving yards per game. That is good for 5th nationally (The current national leader is Terrance Williams at Baylor – 166.75 ypg). Assuming a bowl game, Hopkins is on pace for 1,683.5 receiving yards this season. That would crush the previous record set by Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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last year of 1,219 yards. The current ACC single season receiving record is 1,604 yards set by Torry Holt (NCSU) in 1998.

9.) Clemson players are currently leading the ACC in 5 different categories: Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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is leading the ACC in rushing with 99.5 ypg (T-27th nationally), Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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is leading the ACC in Total Offense with 328.67 ypg (T-11th nationally), DeAndre Hopkins is leading the ACC in receptions with 8.17 rec/gm (T-8th nationally) and receiving yards with 129.5 ypg (5th nationally), and Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
RS Jr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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is leading in FG/gm with 1.83 per game (T-6th nationally). This reinforces how prolific Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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’ offense is when you have individuals leading 3 major offensive categories (Rushing, Receiving and Total Offense) in their conference.

8.) Clemson’s Defense stepped up in the 4th quarter and held Georgia Tech to 33 yards rushing. On the season, the Clemson Defense is allowing just over 41 yards rushing in the 4th quarter. Compare that to the top rush defense in the ACC, FSU, who is only allowing 20.2 rushing yards in the 4th quarter. The Clemson rushing defense is ranked 9th in the ACC (102nd nationally) allowing a total of 202.67 rushing yards per game. Clemson’s opponents are gaining an average 200.3 rushing yards per game for the season. So, even though Clemson’s defensive rushing numbers are not great, they are not terrible either. Clemson’s rush defense is essentially average for the teams they have faced.

7.) Clemson’s opponents’ records this year are dismal. Clemson’s opponents are 14-20, which is a 41.2% winning percentage. Clemson has not beaten a team with a winning record this year. The closest is Ball State who is currently 3-3. The only team with a winning record that Clemson has faced is FSU, who is 5-1. Last season, Clemson’s opponents were 106-74, which is a 58.9% winning percentage. Clemson defeated 6 teams with winning records in 2011 (counting VT in the regular season and ACCCG).

6.) Tajh Boyd’s 397 yard passing performance was good for 2nd all time in Clemson history for most passing yards in a single game. Boyd currently has 5 of the top 10 single game passing performances in Clemson history (397 yards, 386 yards, 367 yards, 344 yards, 343 yards). The other 5 are held by Charlie WhitehurstCharlie Whitehurst
#6 6-4, 225
Duluth, GA

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(1st - 420 yards), Cullen Harper (4th - 372 yards), Brandon Streeter (T-7th - 343 yards), Will Proctor (T-7th - 343 yards), and Woody Dantzler (10th - 333 yards).

5.) Virginia Tech will be bringing their 27th ranked passing defense (allowing 193.3 ypg) to Death Valley in a week in a half to face the 11th ranked passing attack of Clemson (324.7 ypg). The passing game will be important in this game. In Virginia Tech’s losses this season, their pass defense has allowed 289.7 ypg and 7 touchdowns. In their wins though, their pass defense has only allowed 97 ypg and 1 touchdown.

4.) This game should be a good measuring stick for whether the Defense has or can improve. Virginia Tech is averaging 131.3 ypg on the ground (91st) and their leading rusher is freshman Michael Holmes who is averaging 38.3 ypg. Virginia Tech’s passing offense is averaging 245.5 yards through the air (52nd) and Logan Thomas is completing 52.8% of his passes for 1,447 yards, 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. It will be interesting to see if Clemson can hold Virginia Tech to their season averages (especially coming off a bye week).

3.) A bright spot on this Hokie team is their return game. Their punt returner, Kyshoen Jarrett, is leading the ACC and is 2nd nationally with 22 yards per return. Jarrett has 1 touchdown on 8 punt returns. Their kickoff returner, Demitri Knowles, is leading the ACC and is T-14th nationally with 29.6 yards per return. Knowles also has 1 touchdown on 9 kickoff returns. Clemson is 78th nationally allowing 8 yards per punt return and no touchdowns. Clemson is 83rd nationally allowing 22.4 yards per kickoff return and no touchdowns. A big special teams play by VT could help overcome poor offensive play.

2.) Clemson is currently T-7th nationally in 3rd down conversions. Clemson is converting on 54% of their third downs. Virginia Tech’s Defense is 39th nationally only allowing the opponent to convert 35.1% of their third downs. In Clemson’s wins this year, they are converting 56.6% of their third downs. In their only loss, they converted only 41.2% of their third downs. The more 3rd downs that Clemson converts means the longer the defense is off the field which is a good thing for the Tigers.

1.) Clemson is T-21st in the nation in touchdowns allowed in the red zone. Clemson is only allowing teams to score touchdowns 45.8% of the time in the red zone. In Clemson’s wins this year, the defense has only allowed touchdowns 35.3% of the time. In Clemson’s only loss, Clemson allowed FSU to score 5 touchdowns on 7 red zone appearances (71.4%). In Virginia Tech’s wins they have scored a touchdown 76.9% of the times they were in the red zone. In their losses, they only scored touchdowns 42.9% of the times they were in the red zone. Clemson Defense needs to continue the “bend, don’t break” mentality against Virginia Tech. If the Defense can hold Virginia Tech to a field goal in the red zone then the Clemson Offense should be able to make up the rest.

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