The Tiger Ten

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The Tiger Ten returns with a look back at the Virginia Tech game and a look ahead to Wake Forest. We start with a closer look at Clemson in the BCS rankings.

10.) Clemson only moved up 1 spot (19th to 18th) in this week’s BCS poll. The BCS is comprised of the Harris Interactive Poll, the USA Today Poll, and Computer Rankings. Clemson is currently 13th in both the Harris and USA Today Poll. However, Clemson is 25th in the computer rankings (The computers have Ohio ranked ahead of Clemson). The computer rankings are so low because 3 of the 6 ranking systems (Kenneth Massey, Jeff Sagarin, and Dr. Peter Wolfe) do not even have Clemson ranked in the top 25. This is due to Clemson’s strength of schedule and how weak the ACC is this year. Clemson has only played one BCS top 25 team (FSU-12th) and they are currently scheduled to only play one more (SCar-13th).

9.) Clemson’s offensive performance against Virginia Tech was the 2nd worst under Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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. The Clemson offense was held to 66 plays for 295 yards (160yds-Passing, 135yds-Rushing). The worst offensive performance under Morris was last season against South Carolina; the offense was held to 60 plays for 153 yards (83yds-Passing, 70yds-Rushing). However, this is the first game that a Chad Morris offense has been outperformed and Clemson still won the game. Clemson’s Total Offensive differential was -44 yards against GT last year (loss), -61 yards against NC State last year (loss), -267 yards against South Carolina last year (loss), -146 yards against West Virginia in the Orange Bowl (loss), -241 yards against Florida State this season (loss), and -111 yards against Virginia Tech this season (win). Clemson is now 1-5 when they lose the Total Offense battle.

8.) DeAndre HopkinsDeAndre Hopkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#6 6-2, 205
Central, SC

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had 3 receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown Saturday. This is down from his record setting season average of 7.4 receptions/gm for 120.7 yards/gm. Hopkins still leads the ACC and is 2nd nationally with 120.7 receiving yards/gm. Assuming a bowl game, Hopkins needs to average 126.5 receiving yards per game to break Torry Holt’s single season ACC record of 1,604 receiving yards.

7.) Saturday was the first time that a tight end has not made a reception since Chad Morris became the offensive coordinator. Under Chad Morris, the tight ends have accounted for 4.3 receptions/gm. When the offense effectively incorporates the tight end into their offensive strategy, it keeps the defense from providing constant pressure. Rather than blitzing the linebacker or having a defensive back drop into coverage, the defense is forced to have either the linebacker or defensive back cover the tight end. When the linebacker doesn’t blitz, it gives Boyd more time in the pocket and keeps him from scrambling. When the defensive back stays up to cover the tight end instead of dropping to cover the receiver, it creates one on one mismatches for Hopkins and Watkins.
6.) In his first start this season, redshirt junior linebacker Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
RS Jr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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led all tacklers with 15 tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss against Virginia Tech. This is the most tackles in a single game by a Clemson player this season. The Clemson record for most tackles in a single game is held by Keith Adams. In the 1999 South Carolina game, Adams had 27 tackles.

5.) On Thursday, Clemson’s Defense will get to face the 109th ranked Total Offense. Wake Forest is currently averaging 316.1 yds/gm on offense. Their rushing attack is 98th nationally averaging 120.6 yds/gm. Their passing attack is 95th nationally averaging 195.6 yds/gm. As a comparison, the Clemson defense just faced Virginia Tech’s 66th ranked offense (averaging 399 total yards/gm). VT’s rushing attack is 77th averaging 157 yards/gm and their passing attack is 52nd with 242 yards/gm.

4.) The biggest bright spot on this Wake Forest team is their ability to not turn over the football. Wake only has 4 lost fumbles and 4 interceptions for the season. They have a positive 0.71 turnover margin which is good for 2nd in the ACC and 31st nationally (a positive turnover margin means that a team has fewer turnovers than their opponent). Clemson currently leads the ACC in turnover margin with a positive 1.0.

3.) Clemson’s rush defense is going to be an important factor against the Demon Deacons. In Wake’s 4 wins this season, they have scored 11 rushing touchdowns (2.75 rushing TDs/gm). In Wake’s 3 losses, they only have 1 rushing touchdown (0.33 rushing TDs/gm). In Clemson’s 6 wins, their rush defense has allowed 8 rushing touchdowns (1.33 rushing TDs/gm). In Clemson’s only loss, they allowed Florida State to rush for 5 touchdowns.

2.) Clemson’s defense is on pace to allow the most total yards in Clemson history. The defense is allowing just under 440 yards per game on average. The last time that a Clemson defense allowed over 400 yards per game was 1975 when they allowed opponents to average 403.1 yards per game. Going all the way back to 1938, the most yards allowed by a Clemson defense was in 1970 when they allowed 433.4 yards per game. Clemson’s lowest yardage total this season was against Furman, when they held them to 349 yards of total offense. The most yardage allowed this season was against Florida State, when the Seminoles racked up 667 yards of total offense.

1.) DeAndre Hopkins has caught a touchdown pass in the last 4 games. The current record for consecutive games with a receiving touchdown is 5. This record is held by both Derrick Hamilton (2003) and Aaron Kelly (2007). Hamilton had 25 receptions for 471 yards and six touchdowns, while Kelly had 39 catches for 389 yards and eight touchdowns during the 5 game streak. Look for Hopkins to join both Hamilton and Kelly with this record against Wake.

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