Why Clemson Will Win | Syracusefan.com

Why Clemson Will Win

SWC75

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- Because they are still Clemson and we are still Syracuse.

- Every player at every position on their team was more highly recruited that his Syracuse counterpart. And, like, so is their second team guy and maybe their third team guys. Injuries could be disastrous for us, much less so for them.

- The script in the close games we’ve had with them is much the same. They own the second half and pound away at us with superior running backs and linemen and eventually we give way and Clemson wins. Will Shipley and Phil Maffa ran for 266 yards and three touchdowns. They are back this year along with ALL FIVE INTERIOR LINEMEN. They are going to come out of the tunnel ready to punch holes in our 3-3-5 defense.

- We’ve won despite losing Oronde Gadsden and Isaiah Jones and three offensive linemen because we were playing teams we could beat without them. We will not be playing that kind of team in this game.

- We’ve won despite interceptions, near-fumbles on punts, missed extra points and a missed field goal, many penalties, giving up a shock 76 yard touchdown run and 80 yard TD pass because those things didn’t matter against an opponent we could beat by putting the pedal to the medal and cruising past them whenever we needed to. Those things will matter in this game.

- Clemson is desperate to get wins and get back in the ACC race. They have no room for error and Dabo has been making this clear to them.

- They will be able to look into the stands and see orange everywhere and thing, ‘Gee we’ve got a lot of fans here!” And many of them will be Clemson fans, who are as famous as we are for being loud.

Let’s look at the stats that seem to favor Clemson:

The two teams seem to be statistical twins:
TOTAL OFFENSIVE YARDS SU- 508 CL - 474
OFFENSIVE FIRST DOWNS SU- 108 CL - 111
OFFENSIVE RUSHING YARDS SU- 213 CL - 199
OFFENSIVE PASSING YARDS SU- 294.5 CL – 274
OFFENSIVE COMPLETION PERCENTAGE SU- 66.9 CL – 67.9
OFFENSIVE RED ZONE POINTS SU- 105/25= 4.2 CL – 96/25 = 3.8
TOTAL DEFENSIVE YARDS SU- 274 CL – 263
DEFENSIVE FIRST DOWNS SU- 67 CL - 57
DEFENSIVE RUSHING YARDS SU- 89 CL - 79
DEFENSIVE PASSING YARDS SU- 185 CL – 184
DEFFENSIVE PASSING YARDS PER ATTEMPT SU- 5.5 CL- 5.5
DEFENSIVE PASSING EFFICIENCY SU- 102.12 CL – 101.23
DEFENSIVE 3RD AND 4TH FOURTH DOWN PERCENTAGE SU- 32.5 CL – 31.8
TACKLES FOR A LOSS SU- 28 CL - 29
BLOCKED KICKS SU -0 CL - 0
DEFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS SU- 2 CL – 2

Why do these numbers favor Clemson? Because of this:
STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE SU- #76 CL - #7
If two teams are statistically equal but one had played the 7th toughest schedule in the country and the other has played the 76th best schedule in the country, it would seem that the team that’s maintained all those numbers against a tougher schedule is the better team.

Other favorable stats for the Tigers:
SACKS ALLOWED SU- 10 CL – 6
KICKOFF RETURNS SU- 15.5 CL – 19.3
PUNT RETURNS SU- 8.4 CL – 12.3
EXTRA POINTS MISSED SU- 2 CL – 1
DEFENSIVE COMPLETION PERCENTAGE SU- 59.7 CL- 53.4
PENALTIES SU- 31/302yds CL - 16/140yds
TIME OF POSSESSION SU- 28:58 CL – 32:21
The Tigers are better at returning kicks, (and catching the ball cleanly when they do). We’re on a pace to give up 30 sacks, which isn’t great but better than the Tommy DeVito days. However, just one sack could turn our season around in a bad way. Both teams defend the pass well but the Tigers do it better. They’ve committed half the penalties we have for less than half the yardage and that’s a factor in in having a 3 ½ minutes TOP edge. Hopefully it won’t come down to a missed extra point.
 

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