Turnovers, defensive woes drop Tigers in national statistics


by - Correspondent -
Clemson dropped to 12th in points allowed at 18.4 after ranking 8th last week.
Clemson dropped to 12th in points allowed at 18.4 after ranking 8th last week.

The problems were right there in the spotlight for Clemson on Saturday against Pittsburgh: turnovers and a struggling defense.

The Tigers couldn’t overcome those two issues, and that cost them their first loss of the season. Those problems also dropped Clemson in the national statistical rankings this week.

In allowing 43 points and 464 yards, Clemson dropped to 12th in points allowed at 18.4 (they were eighth last week); 22nd in passing yards allowed at 192.9 (they were 11th last week) and 14th in yards allowed at 328.0 (they were 12th last week).

The Tigers are even in turnover margin with 21 gained and 21 lost. They have gained six fumbles and 15 interceptions while losing eight fumbles and throwing 13 interceptions.

There were two other troubling trends in Saturday’s loss. While Deshaun Watson had a record day throwing the ball, Clemson’s running game was nonexistent and is now 86th with 156.4 rushing yards per game, while Wayne Gallman fell out of the top 100 individually.

And red-zone issues continue to haunt Clemson’s offense. The Tigers are 94th, scoring on 80.39 percent of their red-zone trips.

Other NCAA rankings of note:

TEAM

Offense

Scoring: 38.9 points per game (T17)

Passing: 346.2 yards per game (7).

Total: 502.6 yards per game (15).

Third-down conversions: 50.32 percent (11).

Defense

Rushing: 135.10 yards per game (33).

Third-down conversions: 29.33 percent (9).

Sacks: 35 (T5).

Tackles for loss: 88 (4).

Interceptions: 15 (T8).

INDIVIDUAL

Offense

Passing: Watson, 307.7 yards per game (9).

Receiving: Mike Williams, 95.6 yards per game (19).

Total: Watson, 345.5 yards per game (6).

Defense

Tackles: Ben Boulware, 82 (T56).

Sacks: Carlos Watkins, 6.5 (T41).

Tackles for loss: Christian Wilkins, 11.0 (T49).

Interceptions: Jadar Johnson, 4 (T16).

Passes defensed: Johnson, 11 (T29).

Special teams

Scoring: Greg Huegel, 8.2 points per game (T55).

*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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