So I don’t know if you’ve heard but this Clemson school is pretty good at football. Let’s figure out exactly what makes them so good. We’re going to breakdown the stats behind each phase of the Tigers and compare them to the Orange.
Most Impressive Stat: Sacks
Clemson: 16 (T-2nd)
Syracuse: 13 (T-9th)
A lot has been, and will continue to be made, of the Clemson D-Line this week. But, honestly you can’t overstate just how good they are. It’s one of the best defensive lines college football has seen in the past two decades. All four of those dudes will be NFL players for a long time and I’m just shocked we don’t have a catchy nickname for them already.
Most Surprising Stat: Interceptions
Clemson: 0 (T-Last)
Syracuse: 7 (T-2nd)
Syracuse freshman Andre Cisco has four more interceptions than the entire Clemson football team after four games. That was a fun sentence to type. This really is baffling though. For all the pressure they generate on the quarterback it hasn’t translated to turnovers in the secondary. Also, if Cisco was a school he would rank 31st in the country in interceptions. The dude is leading the FBS in picks right now. You’d have to think we will see a regression to the mean for both teams by season end.
Most Wow That Makes Me Nervous Stat: Pass Defense
This is where this game is decided in my eyes. Can SU’s secondary hold up? That’s the million dollar question. Clemson has speed, size and strength at the wide receiver position unlike anything the Orange have seen this season. SU can’t let the big play happen. 84 and 64 yard touchdowns can’t be a thing like they were against Western Michigan. This is Clemson. If Syracuse wants to win, the secondary, which has been prone to getting scorched against big time talent before, can’t get exposed.
Fizz Feedback: What’s going to happen in this Clemson game?
— Orange Fizz (@OrangeFizz) September 27, 2018
Most Under-The-Radar Stat: Special Teams Efficiency
Right now you’re probably thinking, “how are earth do you calculate special teams efficiency?” And to tell you the truth, I have no idea. But, I do know one thing. Special teams has been a key part of SU’s improved play this year and this stat kinda, sorta backs that up. I’m not saying Sean Riley is going to run back another punt on Saturday, but solid special teams goes a long way.
Most Huh That’s Cool Stat: Field Goals Made
Clemson: 3 / 5 (T-69)
Syracuse: 10 / 11 (T-1st)
Shoutout, Andre Symtz. It’s early but that is a cool stat to be leading. Like special teams, nailing 37-yard field goals isn’t flashy, but it’s valuable.
Most Dang I Swear That Was a Thing Last Year Too Stat: Third Down Defense
Clemson: 31% (30th)
Syracuse: 19% (2nd)
SU was dominate in this stat last year too. At some point we are going to have start giving credit to the defensive coordinator Brian Ward and defensive line coach Vinson Reynolds for the blitz packages they are dialing up. You don’t just do that overnight.