Turnover margin the glaring statistic for Tigers


by - Correspondent -
Mike Williams had one of Clemson's four turnovers Saturday
Mike Williams had one of Clemson's four turnovers Saturday

There are plenty of terrific numbers for the Clemson football team through its first seven games.

But the bad statistic that jumps off the screen, especially after the past two home games, is turnover margin.

Sure, Clemson is 7-0 and won both of those home games – against Louisville and N.C. State – but the Tigers haven’t made things easy on themselves with turnovers. They had five against Louisville and four more against N.C. State.

The really tough part about the turnovers against the Wolfpack is they almost directly took points off the board for the Tigers with three turnovers coming in the red zone, while the fourth did directly lead to one N.C. State touchdown on a pick-six.

Through seven games, Clemson is at even in turnover margin. The Tigers have recovered five fumbles and picked off 11 passes on defense, while the offense has lost eight fumbles and thrown eight interceptions.

Other NCAA rankings of note:

TEAM

Offense

Scoring offense: 36.6 points per game (31).

Rushing offense: 169.43 yards per game (73).

Passing offense: 304.9 yards per game (21).

Total offense: 474.3 yards per game (30).

Defense

Scoring defense: 15.3 points per game (10).

Rushing defense: 132.43 yards per game (31).

Passing defense: 166.1 yards per game (10).

Total defense: 298.6 yards per game (9).

Tackles for loss: 63 (T1).

Sacks: 25 (T3).

Interceptions: 11 (T5).

Special Teams

Punt returns: 11.5 yards per return (27).

Kickoff returns: 23.29 yards per return (T33).

INDIVIDUAL

Offense

Rushing: Wayne Gallman, 69.86 yards per game (89).

Passing: Deshaun Watson, 278.6 yards per game (26).

Receiving: Mike Williams, 82.6 yards per game (37).

Total offense: Watson, 318.4 yards per game (16).

Defense

Tackles: Ben Boulware, 57 (T43); Van Smith, 56 (T52).

Sacks: Carlos Watkins, 4.5 (T43).

Tackles for loss: Christian Wilkins, 8.5 (T25).

Interceptions: Jadar Johnson, 3 (T10).

Passes defended: Johnson, 9 (T15).

Fumbles forced: Ben Boulware, 2 (T25).

Special teams

Punt returns: Ray-Ray McCloud, 12.29 yards per return (16).

Kickoff returns: Artavis Scott, 25.5 yards per return (29).

Scoring: Greg Huegel, 7.7 points per game (T66).

*Daniel Shirley is the sports editor of The Telegraph in Macon, Ga., and co-host of The Midday Sports Zone on Middle Georgia’s ESPN, 93.1 FM and 99.5 FM. Follow him on Twitter at @DM_Shirley and read his blog at macon.com/peachsports.

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