February 20, 2017

Deon Cain: 8 Plays

Clemson wide receiver Deon Cain (8) rallies the team. The Clemson Tigers played host to the Syracuse Orange at Memorial Stadium, Saturday, November 5, 2016. Gwinn Davis / The Post and Courier

8 plays from Deon Cain.

 

Previous Editions of 8 Plays:

8 plays from Jordan Leggett

8 plays from Wayne Gallman

8 plays from the defensive backfield

8 plays from Mike Williams

8 plays from linebackers

8 plays from defensive line

Runs Created: On Beer, Pinder, Williams & Greene

Runs created is a baseball metric invented by Bill James that attempts to measure how many runs result from everything a player does at the plate.  Think of it this way: a player’s batting average tells how often that player gets a hit, but not how often that hit result in a run being scored.

As James said of a hitter, “…his job was not to hit singles, nor to hit triples, nor to draw walks or even hit home runs, but rather to put runs on the scoreboard.”  The runs created metric attempts to answer this question.

It should be no surprise that Seth Beer is way ahead of the rest of Clemson’s returning batters in runs created.  But the chart below also shows a couple of other things: The importance of Chase Pinder, as I alluded to in previous writings, and what the loss of Chris Williams may mean to the Tigers.  In short, with Williams out the Tigers lose about a run per every 27 outs.  That could be made up, or even exceeded, by his replacements, but that run is not an insignificant number given it sits 4th (and 5th is about half of Williams number) in returning runs created.  Also of note is the Tigers 14-6 record in 1 run games in 2016.

As an aside, Jordan Greene’s 14.51 runs created in 2016 looks small compared to those above him in the chart, but there’s a caveat – Greene had only 81 at bats, while those above him approached or exceeded 3 times as many.  Greene gets on base – his .422 OBP is second only to Beer among returnees – and is a perfect guy to bat at or near the bottom of the order – lower batting average, higher on base percentage, which means he’ll be on base a lot for Pinder and his power. However, it remains to be seen if Greene can duplicate those numbers over a full season (or at the very least while platooning).

Clemson opens 2017 baseball season vs. Wright State

Clemson opens the 2017 season Friday afternoon at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.  The Tigers will be without Chris Williams, who was scheduled to replace Chris Okey behind the plate.  In my mind, who fills that spot is the biggest question of the opening series.

For a brief intro to Wright State and my thoughts on the most intriguing aspects of the opening weekend series click the arrow below.

8 Plays: Defensive Line

Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman (4) fires a pass as Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence (90) defends.  Gwinn Davis / The Post and Courier

8 plays from the Clemson defensive line.

 

Previous Editions:

8 plays from Jordan Leggett

8 plays from Wayne Gallman

8 plays from the defensive backfield

8 plays from Mike Williams

8 plays from linebackers

8 Plays: Linebackers

Clemson linebacker Ben Boulware (10) celebrate the fourth down stop. GWINN DAVIS / FOR POST AND COURIER

8 plays from the Clemson linebackers.

 

Previous Editions:

8 plays from Jordan Leggett

8 plays from Wayne Gallman

8 plays from the defensive backfield

8 plays from Mike Williams

CFB Trends: Part 6

Other than points, perhaps the most important metric in college football – yards per play. Out of all the metrics I track, none has a higher winning percentage than winning the yards per play advantage over your opponent – not even winning the turnover battle.  The gap has held relatively steady – starting at 1.25 in 2011 and sitting at 1.26 in 2016, though there have been some swings (2013!) along the way.

But again, year in and year out, the fact remains – more plays, more yards and especially more yards per play = winner.

Previously in Series:
CFB Trends Part 1 – Home field advantage?
CFB Trends Part 2 – Vegas knows – favorites win
CFB Trends Part 3 – You’re not imagining it – scoring is up
CFB Trends Part 4 – Everybody runs 70 plays a game
 CFB Trends Part 5 – Yards, yards and yards

8 Plays: Mike Williams

Clemson wide receiver Mike Williams 
GWINN DAVIS PHOTOS

8 beautiful plays from Mike Williams (via Deshaun Watson).

Other iterations:

8 plays from Jordan Leggett

8 plays from Wayne Gallman

8 plays from the defensive backfield

CFB Trends – Part 5

Yards matter. Sure, there’s games where the team with less yards win, but it’s more likely that the team with more yards is going to win the game – which makes the stat we just looked at – plays per game – important and the one up next – yards per play – even more important.  The graph below makes the big picture clear: Teams that gain more yards than their opponents win.

Not only that, but the margin is getting larger.  In 2011 there was a 100 yard difference on average between winners and losers.  By 2016 that number had grown to 104.1.

Previously in Series:
CFB Trends Part 1 – Home field advantage?
CFB Trends Part 2 – Vegas knows – favorites win
CFB Trends Part 3 – You’re not imagining it – scoring is up
CFB Trends Part 4 – Everybody runs 70 plays a game
 

Defensive Backs: 8 Plays

Clemson corner Marcus Edmond saved the day once again (Photo: Gwinn Davis/gwinndavisphotos.com)

8 plays from 2016 for the Clemson defensive backs.

These are Good Times for Clemson

“Good Times”.