October 27, 2016

Weekly SUR Pick’em – Week 9

Weekly SUR Pick'em

Vegas Confidential – Clemson/FSU and Who Let the Dogs Out Edition

Vegas ConfidentialGiving the Noles 4 1/2 at Doak-Campbell? And, by the way, who let the dogs out over the last 3 weeks?

Rushing metrics through 7 games – Average ground game

The definition of a successful rush can be found below, but generally it’s putting your team in a good situation and is not solely dependent on the yards gained on the carry. The number highlighted directly below the Clemson average is the national average.

5+ rate is the % of rushes where at least 5 yards was gained. Bill Connelly at SB Nation gives it a cool name, “Opportunity Rate”, and his theory is the first 5 yards is on the offensive line. In a sense, it’s a grade on the offensive line. As with the success rate, the Tigers are slightly above the national average.

Stuff rate is the % of rushes for 0 or negative yards. The Tigers number is lower than the national average and this is a good thing.

Successful Rush –
1st down – 50% of yards needed for 1st down or a touchdown
2nd down – 70% of yards needed for a first down or a touchdown
3rd and 4th down – A first down or touchdown.

Given these numbers and the parameters above, the Clemson running game has been – average. Success rate is within 0.3% of national average, 5+ rate 1.2% above the national average and stuff rate 2.2% below national average (this is good as you want a low stuff rate).

Later in the week, I’ll have a comparison between the first 537 plays from 2015 and the first from 2016.  While the overall yards are very similar, how the Tigers got there is very different.

*Clemson numbers include sacks, but do not include “team rushes”.

Deshaun Watson by Distance through 7 games

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) looks to pass. The Clemson Tigers played host to the Boston College Eagles at Memorial Stadium in Clemson Saturday, October 17, 2015. GWINN DAVIS / FOR POST AND COURIER

Complete through 7 games.

watson-by-distance-2016-7Featured image courtesy gwinndavisphotos.com

Receiver Metrics through 7 games

Complete through 7 games.
Featured image courtesty gwinndavisphotos.com

Defensive Stoppers

By now, hopefully you’re familiar with the Successful Play concept.  It’s a way of categorizing each play based on the situation and result instead of simply look at yardage gained on a play.

For example, a 1 yard run on 3rd and 4 is not a successful play.  A 1 yard run on 3rd and goal from the 1 that results in a touchdown is a successful play.

The parameters for a successful play are:

1st down – 50% of yards needed for a 1st down or a touchdown

2nd down – 70% of yards needed for a 1st down or a touchdown

3rd and 4th down – A first down or a touchdown

On defense, the less successful plays by your opponent the better. We also know that simply looking at the number of tackles recorded by a player can easily be misleading. Many times a safety or corner is making tackles 8 or more yards downfield.  We’re glad he was there, but the object is to stop the other team from gaining first downs and scoring points.

The table below lists the Clemson defensive players that are part of the regular rotation and the tackles* recorded when the opponents play is unsuccessful.  This gives you a better picture of who is making the tackles that are stopping drives than just a raw number of tackles.



*Tackle information is taken from the play by play detail provided on ClemsonTigers.com.  This information often changes in the days following the game and I do not continually verify the original information.

Featured image courtesy gwinndavisphotos.com

FSU Week – “The best Clemson site on the web”

The Forgotten Plays – 4th and 14

Clemson fans are partial to fourth down conversions these days. The video of the 4th and 16 against LSU posted to our Facebook page received 166,000 views from 136,000 unique individuals.  Against N.C. State, Clemson converted a key 4th down in overtime, eschewing a field goal attempt, to take a 7 point lead and force the Wolfpack to attempt to score a touchdown and win the game.

I remembered that 4th down and included it in my 5 and 59 series.  Of course, I remembered Christian Wilkins blocking a field goal, rumbling for a first down on a punt (another fourth down conversion), and N.C. State missing a field goal.  But, I didn’t remember the play below. Game tied at 3 with 35 seconds to go in the half and the Tigers facing a 4th and 14 from the State 33.  Too long for a field goal, too short for a punt. No man’s land.

Except Dabo Swinney went for it and Deshaun Watson found Ray Ray McCloud for 16 yards and a first down.  The Tigers ultimately scored on the drive and went ahead 10-3 and this turned out to be a huge play in the game that was mostly forgotten by the time Marcus Edmond found himself at the bottom of another pile in overtime.

The Best of 5 in 59 from games 1-7

Just because it’s an off week for the Tigers, doesn’t mean you don’t get to see Clemson football. Here’s the best of our 5 in 59 series from games 1-7:

Featured image courtesy gwinndavisphotos.com

Vegas Confidential – The Land of Enchantment and Biting Dogs Edition

Vegas Confidential