October 17, 2018

Then versus Now: How the 2016 Tigers stack up against the 2013 Tigers


With Clemson’s Fiesta Bowl matchup versus Ohio State just days away we’ll take an in-depth look at how this year’s team compares to the 11-2 team from 2013, who capped their season with an Orange Bowl victory over Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes. This piece will provide a snapshot at both the similarities and differences between two of the best teams to ever play at Clemson.






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Throwback Thursday – The Commitments

We take a step back in time to look at some of the biggest commitments in recent Clemson history as the Tigers begin to build the program.

Featured image: Miami Herald

Do stars really matter? 5-Year NFL Draft Analysis

Do recruiting rankings really translate to football on Sundays? Find out below…

Before the NFL

Editor’s Note: Chris Cox writes about Clemson recruiting on his site Tiger Talk.  You can follow Chris on Twitter at @TigerTalk_CU

Over the past week, a total of 14 Tigers have signed contracts to play professional football, 15 if you want to count Daniel Rodriguez’s rookie camp invite to Washington.

While many of us, myself included, get caught up in the new age recruiting world, this article will show you why all these recruiting services aren’t the final authority on a player’s potential.

Just take a look at the two former Tigers who are headed down to I-85 to play in Atlanta. Top 10 pick Vic Beasley is a guy who came to Clemson as a tight end before moving to linebacker and settling in as a defensive end, where he ultimately became the all-time sack leader in just 3 full seasons.  Then you have Grady Jarrett whose size has been well documented during his journey to the NFL. Ranked as a 2-star prospect coming out of high school, Jarrett was virtually unstoppable during his junior and senior seasons in a Tiger uniform.image1

While most of Clemson’s highly touted prospects over the last few years have lived up to their billing, there have bee a couple that rarely saw the field in a Clemson uniform. Guys like Mike Bellamy and Lateek Townsend are examples of highly rated prospects who, for various reasons, could not deliver on their lofty recruiting rankings.

Following recruiting is both fun and important, but when it comes to production don’t be too quick to judge the little guys. Let them strap it up and prove their worth on the field.

Here’s a look at how these NFL players were ranked before they were Tigers:

Vic Beasley-LB
1st Round to Falcons (#8 overall)
247: 3-star, #483 overall, #22 TE
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, #37 ATH

Stephone Anthony-LB
1st Round to Saints (#31 overall)
247: 5-star, #10 overall, #1 OLB
Rivals: 5-star, #24 overall, #3 OLB

Grady Jarrett-DT
5th Round to Falcons (#137 overall)
247: 2-star, #1416 overall, #100 DT
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, NR DT

Bradley Pinion-P
5th Round to 49ers (#165 overall)
247: 3-star, #1375 overall, #1 P
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, #4 K

Tony Steward-LB
6th Round to Bills (#188 overall)
247: 5-star, #12 overall, #2 OLB
Rivals: 5-star, #13 overall, #1 OLB

Tavaris Barnes-DE
Signed FA contract with Saints
247: 4-star, #381 overall, #23 SDE
Rivals: 4-star, NR overall, #29 DT

Corey Crawford-DE
Signed FA contract with Redskins
247: 4-star, #193 overall, #14 SDE
Rivals: 4-star, NR overall, #20 SDE

Kalon Davis-OG
Signed FA contract with Broncos
247: 3-star, #712 overall, #35 OG
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, #34 OG

Adam Humphries-WR
Signed FA contract with Buccaneers
247: 2-star, #1579 overall, #201 WR
Rivals: 2-star, NR overall, NR WR

Garry Peters-CB
Signed FA contract with Panthers
247: 3-star, #324 overall, #22 CB
Rivals: 4-star, NR overall, #20 CB

Robert Smith-S
Signed FA contract with Colts
247: 2-star, #1480 overall, #109 S
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, NR ATH

Cole Stoudt-QB
Signed FA contract with Chargers
247: 3-star, #711 overall, #24 PRO
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, #21 PRO

Josh Watson-DT
Signed FA contract with Broncos
247: 3-star, #5 JUCO, #1 JUCO DT
Rivals: 4-star, NR overall, NR DT

DeShawn Williams-DT
Signed FA contract with Bengals
247: 3-star, #628 overall, #49 DT
Rivals: 3-star, NR overall, NR DT


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Peters, Jarrett lead way on 3rd and 4 downs

The data below is taken from the defensive play by play and shows tackles, assists and passes defensed when an opposing team did not gain a first down on 3rd or 4th down.

3rd and 4th Down D Final

Third Down Defense by Distance

Clemson is currently ranked 3rd nationally in 3rd down defense. Here’s how the Tigers stack up by distance on opponent 3rd downs in 2014.

3rd Down D by Distance 2014 12 Chart3rd Down D by Distance 2014 12 Graph

Jarrett, Peters Leading Third and Fourth Down D

The information below is taken from the play by play detail of each game and shows tackles and passes defensed on 3rd and 4th down where the opponent failed to make a first down.

Stephone Anthony had 3 such stops vs. Wake Forest.

Defensive Stops 2014 9A

Defensive Drive Metrics – 8 Games

Some numbers for the defensive minded folks:

    • 49 three and outs (43% of drives)
    • 52 drives (45.6% of drives) of three or less plays (including turnovers on 1st play of two drives and second play of 1 drive)
    • Average drive against: 4.4 plays, 17.9 yards, 1:52 seconds, punt

*Drives that included only kneel down plays excluded from analysis

Defensive Drive Analysis 2014 8

Episode 26: Defense! Defense! Defense! (and some offense)

Brandon Rink of orangeandwhite.com joins me to discuss the Tigers breakout performance on D vs. N.C. State, expectations moving forward, Mike Williams and a prediction for Clemson vs. Louisville.

You can also download current and previous episodes and subscribe to the Podcast via iTunes by clicking here.

Thanks to Brandon for participating and Clemson graduate Adam Eargle for the podcast artwork and all SUR graphics.  Need a graphic artist? Check out some of Adam’s work here.


Defensive 3rd Down Conversions & 3rd Down Stops

Sometimes statistics lie. Or at least they don’t tell the whole story. When you look at the official NCAA rankings for third down defense you’ll find Clemson tied for 16th with an outstanding 25% mark.

The Tigers have held both opponents under 40% – Georgia converted 5 of 13 opportunities while S.C. State’s futility checked in at 2 for 15.

Digging into the numbers a bit it’s obvious that what happens on first and second down gives you a good idea of what’s going to happen on third down. On third and four or less opponents (this would mean Georgia as S.C. State never faced less than 5 to go on third down) have converted 5 of 7 chances. More than 4 yards to go: 2 for 21.

3rd and Short D 2014 2
So yeah, third downs are important, but so is stopping the opponent on first and second to put your defense in a good position on third down.

I realize I’m not splitting the atom here, but simply reinforcing that teams are rarely only good on third down defense. When you’re good on third down, you’re generally good on first and second down, too.

Here’s a look at who makes stops on 3rd downs that stop the opponent from gaining a first down (or touchdown).

3rd Down Stops 2014 2