Clemson by the numbers: Tiger defense among nation's best in forced turnovers


by - Correspondent -
Tanner Muse has a pick in each game so far.
Tanner Muse has a pick in each game so far.

Clemson’s statistical profile in the national rankings will shift over the season, having faced a pair of Power 5 conference teams while some programs haven’t played one yet.

Among the early standout areas is forcing opponent turnovers, ranking in the top-10 in fumbles recovered (6th; 3), turnovers gained (8th; 6) and passes intercepted (9th; 3). Tanner Muse’s interceptions in each game puts him at third in the nation in picks per game.

The Clemson defense has also buckled down in the red zone, ranking 15th overall and 25th in touchdown percentage allowed (40).

The top stat standout on offense continues to be Travis Etienne, who topped 100 yards from scrimmage (105) to stick in the top-15 in all-purpose yards (12th; 156.5 per game) and held on to top-10 marks in rushing yards per carry (5th; 9.2), rushing TDs (9th; 3) and rushing yards per game (10th; 129).

Peeking ahead to the Syracuse trip, the Orange have top-25 ranks in passes intercepted (9th; 3), tackles for loss allowed (14th; 9.5), turnovers gained (14th; 5) and punt returns (25th; 14 YPR), while slotting 100th or worse in fewest penalties per game (101st; 8), scoring defense (102nd; 31.5 PPG), fewest penalties (103rd; 16), passing defense (103rd; 267 YPG), total defense (104th; 442 YPG), third down defense (105th; 45.2 percent), turnovers lost (105th; 5) and red zone offense (107th; 66.7 scoring percentage). New Syracuse QB Tommy Devito is 94th in passing efficiency (123.5) and 85th in yards per pass attempt (6.8).

Clemson top 25 national rankings

Fumbles recovered - 6 (3), turnovers gained - 8 (6), passes intercepted - 9 (3), first downs offense - 10 (55 gained), rushing offense - 15 (266 YPG), red zone defense - 15 (60 percent), kickoff return defense - 16 (13.33 per), scoring defense - 18 (12 PPG), fewest penalty yards per game - 20 (36.5), pass efficiency defense - 21 (104.89 rating), turnover margin - 21 (1), fewest penalty yards - 23 (73), red zone TD percentage defense - 25 (40).

Other key stats

Passing defense - 27 (137 YPG), total offense - 29 (510.5), total defense - 36 (291.5), pass efficiency defense - 36 (98.93 rating). rushing defense - 38 (105), scoring offense - 38 (38 PPG), red zone TD percentage offense - 46 (71.4), third down offense - 56 (42.9 percent), passing offense - 58 (244.5), third down defense - 61 (34.4), kickoff returns - 72 (19), passing efficiency - 75 (133.81).

Top individual national ranks

Tanner Muse - Interceptions 3 (1 per game), passes defended 24 (1.5).

Travis Etienne – Rush yards per carry 5 (9.2), rushing TDs 9 (3), rushing yards per game 10 (129), rushing yards 11 (258), all-purpose yards 12 (156.5), total touchdowns 21 (3).

Chad Smith - Forced fumbles 20 (0.5 per game).

Nolan Turner - Forced fumbles 20 (0.5 per game), passes defended 24 (1.5).

Denzel Johnson - Interceptions 24 (0.5 per game)

Joseph Ngata - Yards per kick return 30 (22.7).

(National and individual stats per NCAA and CFBStats.com)

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Tags: Tanner Muse, Travis Etienne, Chad Smith, Denzel Johnson, Nolan Turner, Joseph Ngata
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