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Archive for the ‘Clemson Football’ Category

C.J. Spiller Highlights

Posted by cuorange on January 29, 2010

From Shoeless Works.  You’ve probably seen it by now since it’s been on every Clemson site out there, but just in case.

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Gaines

Posted by cuorange on January 19, 2010

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Shift in philosophy?

Posted by cuorange on January 15, 2010

Below are the often mentioned statistics for what happened in the first 5 games of the season vs. what happened over the last 9 games.

To cut to the chase:

*Clemson threw the ball almost as much in last nine games as they did in the first 5 – 44.8% in the first 5 games, 43.5% in the last 9 games.

Run/Pass ratio:

Games Runs Pct Runs Passes Pct Passes
Games 1-5 195 55.2% 158 44.8%
Games 6-14 301 56.5% 232 43.5%

*The number of attempts were lower because Clemson averaged 12 less offensive plays per game over the last 9 games of the season than in the first 5 – 71 in the first 5 and 59 in the last 9.

*There was a shift in the targets that might be significant. In the first 5 games the WRs were targeted 54.4% of the time. In the last 9 games the WRs were targeted 42.7% of the time.  On the other hand a 12% difference really means one of every 8 passes went to a TE/RB instead of a WR.  Is that really significant?  Meaning in the first 5 games 4 of 8 (rounded) passes went to the WRs.  In games 9-14 3 of 8 (more or less) passes went to the WR.  Significant or not?

First five games:

Game WR TE/RB INT UNK TOTAL
MTSU 14 6 1 0 21
Georgia Tech 18 12 2 0 32
Boston College 17 9 2 0 28
TCU 17 20 0 0 37
Maryland 20 15 1 4 40
Totals 86 62 6 4 158
Pct of Passes 54.4% 39.2% 3.8% 2.5% 100.0%

Games 6-14:

Game WR TE/RB INT UNK TOTAL
Wake 12 12 0 0 24
Miami 12 24 1 0 37
Coastal 11 10 2 0 23
FSU 16 13 1 0 30
NCSU 9 10 0 0 19
UVA 11 15 0 0 26
SC 18 23 1 0 42
Georgia Tech 6 8 2 1 17
Kentucky 4 10 0 0 14
Totals 99 125 7 1 232
Pct of Passes 42.7% 53.9% 3.0% 0.4% 100.0%

So, with that said do I think we can definitively say there was a change in philosophy after the Wake game to keep “Dabo’s hands off the offense” and move to a power running game? No. Sure, they moved away from targeting “Dabo’s guys” (WRs). But, there was a very small increase in the percentage of runs. Hardly “proof”.

There were plenty of dropped balls by the WRs, but there were also plenty of missed throws by Kyle Parker, too. Perhaps the staff decided to keep the throws shorter (i.e. TE’s and RBs) vs. downfield to avoid the chances of turnovers. Is a short passing game a part of a power running offense – sure. And you could argue that this shift from WRs to TE/RBs show that there was a fundamental change at this point. But a short passing game is also part of the spread offense – see the numerous short throws by Colt McCoy for example in the Texas spread offense.

The key to me would be the alignment. How many TEs were used and what formations were we in during those last 9 games? More double (or triple) TE would point toward a power running philosophy, while the same (or similar) sets, but throwing to the TE and/or RBs more often would suggest to me a) you have a young QB b) your WR haven’t developed and c) your coaching staff made good adjustments during the off week, it worked so you kept doing it (a sign of good coaching).

I haven’t been able to find the final participation chart, which would give me a great indication of how many times some combination of Palmer, Allen, Taylor and Diehl (and Barry) were on the field together, but my recollection is that is was very few plays.

Another key to me would be game situations. It’s easy to look at numbers on a page and think you know what happened and why. But Clemson was all over the place in running and passing due to the situation presented in each game. Examples?

MTSU = blowout = 21 passes.

Wake = game under control = 24 passes.

Miami = wild OT game = 37 passes.

SC = behind all day = 42 passes.

GTech(1) – way behind early = 32 passes.

GTech(2) = close game all the way, CJ running wild = 17 passes.

Kentucky = close game, need to eat clock at end = 14 passes.

Even after the so-called change in philosophy after the MD game we threw the ball a lot when the game dictated we do so (37 times against Miami, 42 against SC, 30 against FSU, for example).

I’m no expert, but what all this (similar % of runs, not a heavy use of multiple TEs, wide variety in number of passes in different games) suggests to me is that the formations and philosophy didn’t change all that much, but what did change is the coaches found out that Palmer can catch the ball and Parker could throw it to him relatively accurately (I seem to recall Palmer diving, falling backwards, jumping, etc quite often though) and the WRs had a not so great year (other than Ford). Basically, without having a chart of the down and distance, game situation, and formations there is no “scientific” way to tell from the data I have available.

Perhaps a better way to look at this would be to see what happened on 1st and 10s (a good gauge of philosophy, in my opinion), when the score and game time is within a certain range (i.e. it’s not a blowout and/or you aren’t trying to run the clock out).

Personally, I believe the offense will continue to evolve (as it should) and depend on the personnel we have and game situation at hand. That’s a sign of good coaching. Identities can change from year to year.

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Ellington by the numbers

Posted by cuorange on January 7, 2010

Andre Ellington

No one player is going to replace all that C.J. Spiller was for the 2009 Clemson Tiger football team.  Spiller accounted for 2,680 total yards, returned 4 kickoffs for touchdowns and was the only player in FBS to score in every game.  Perhaps Spiller’s greatest asset though was his leadership and will to win.  More than once this past year I found myself saying, “#28 won’t let us lose”.

The Tigers running back cupboard is not bare without Spiller.  Jamie Harper and André Ellington have each had their moments while Rod McDowell redshirted and will be ready for the 2010 season.
 
Ellington in particular showed “flashes” of Spiller-esque running ability averaging 7.2 yards per carry on 68 carries.  With this in mind I decided to take a closer look at Ellington’s numbers and see how the stack up against Spiller’s.

Player Rush YPC 0 or Neg FD/FD% TD/TD% 10+/10+% 20+/20+% 30+/30+%
Spiller  216  5.6 39/18.1%   46/21.3%  12/5.6%  31/14.4% 12/5.6%  10/4.6% 
Ellington   68    7.2  7/10.3%  19/27.9    4/5.9%    13/9.1%   5/7.4%   5/7.4% 

Ellington averaged more yards per carry, had less negative or 0 yard plays, a higher percentage of first downs, touchdowns, 10+, 20+ and 30+ gains per carry.  Amazing really when you think about it.  Ellington had better averages in every category.
 
Two things that make Spiller the all around threat he is:  The Homerun play and receiving.  But even the “homerun” plays are a bit deceiving:  Spiller had 3 rushing touchdowns of 36 yards or more, but two of them came against Georgia Tech in the ACC title game.  Ellington’s lone homerun run was a 55 yard touchdown against Coastal Carolina.
 
While Ellington had a similar number of receptions relative to rushing attempts as Spiller (i.e. about 30% of the number of rushes) he only averaged 5.0 yards per reception, while Spiller averaged 14.0 yards per reception and Spiller had 4 receiving touchdowns while Ellington had none.
 
While I wouldn’t expect Ellington to average 14 yards per reception (Spiller in space is what makes Spiller Spiller), this number needs to be in the 8 to 9 yard range.  This is definitely something that Ellington needs to work on as we all remember the drop in round 1 against Georgia Tech.
 
This is not meant to say that Ellington can replace Spiller.  No one can replace Spiller, but I believe Ellington can replace part of what Spiller brought to the table – the running back part.  Whether he can become the receiver Spiller was is to be determined and who replaces Spiller on special teams and as a leader could be just as an important piece of the puzzle for the 2010 Tigers.

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In depth look at third downs

Posted by cuorange on December 23, 2009

Here’s a table with the results of every third down situation this year (including 3rd and goal to go of the various distances). When you’re clicking along at 38.67% (70 for 181) overall you know there are going to be some ugly stats mixed in there and we don’t have to look far to find those.

While 59.1% doesn’t sound so bad, it doesn’t really sound great when it’s third and 1. Think about that. Over 40% of the time the Tigers failed on 3rd and 1. Wow. And when you get to third and 5 or more, well lets just say the chances aren’t good.

The moral of the story for the Tigers is to go into third down with 4 or less yards to go that way Clemson has a 59.7% chance of converting. Otherwise, it’s 26.3% chance for the Tigers, basically one of every 4.

There are a couple of interesting anomalies in the numbers though. While the Tigers are 5 for 15 on 3rd and 6 and 1 for 16 on 3rd and 8 (what the hell?) they are 6 for 12 on 3rd and 7 and 4 of 8 on 3rd and 11. So, 33% on 3rd and 6, 6% on 3rd and 8, but 50% on 3rd and 7 and 3rd and 11.  Alrighty.

To Go Made/Att PCT
 1  13/22   59.1
2  7/12  58.3
3  10/16  62.5
4  10/17  58.8
5  4/13  30.8
6  5/16  31.3
7  6/12  50.0
8  1/16  6.3
9  4/11  36.4
10  4/14  28.6
11  4/8  50.0
12  0/6  0.0
13  0/3  0.0
14  1/2  50.0
15  1/5  20.0
16  0/2  0.0
19  0/1  0.0
20  0/2  0.0
21  0/1  0.0
23  0/1  0.0
49  0/1  0.0

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Efficiencies

Posted by cuorange on December 7, 2009

Offensive Efficiency

Opponent TD FG Punts TO Downs Half Possess Points OE
MTSU 2 3 3 2 3 1 14 23 1.64
Georgia Tech 3 2 6 2 2 0 15 27 1.80
Boston College 0 6 5 3 1 1 16 18 1.13
TCU 1 1 5 0 4 0 11 10 0.91
Maryland 1 2 6 1 2 0 12 13 1.08
Wake Forest 5 1 6 2 0 1 15 38 2.53
Miami 3 2 3 3 1 1 13 26 2.00
Coastal Carolina 7 0 3 2 0 0 12 49 4.08
Florida State 6 0 3 2 3 0 14 40 2.86
North Carolina State 6 1 3 0 0 1 11 43 3.91
Virginia 4 2 3 0 2 1 12 34 2.83
South Carolina 1 1 7 3 1 0 13 10 0.77
Georgia Tech 5 0 0 2 2 1  10   34   3.40 
Totals 44 21 53 22 21 7 168 365 2.17

Defensive Efficiency

Opponent TD FG Punts TO Downs Half Possess Points DE
MTSU 1 0 7 3 3 1 15 7 0.47
Georgia Tech 2 3 6 2 0 2 15 23 1.53
Boston College 1 0 10 4 1 1 17 7 0.41
TCU 2 0 6 0 1 2 11 14 1.27
Maryland 3 1 7 1 1 2 15 24 1.60
Wake Forest 0 1 9 2 1 1 14 3 0.21
Miami 3 3 3 4 0 1 14 30 2.14
Coastal Carolina 0 1 8 2 0 2 13 3 0.23
Florida State 2 1 3 5 1 2 14 17 1.21
North Carolina State 3 1 5 1 1 0 11 23 2.09
Virginia 3 0 5 2 2 0 12 21 1.75
South Carolina 4 2 4 2 1 2 15 34 2.27
Gerogia Tech 4 4  0  0 1 1  10  39   3.90 
Totals 28 17 73 28 13 17 176 245 1.39

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Third downs plague Tigers

Posted by cuorange on December 2, 2009

After a 5 of 13 day against Virgina, the Tigers got even worse last Saturday managing to convert only 3 of 13 third downs including 0 for 6 on distances between 7 and 10 yards.  Not good and something that has to improve if the Tigers are to have any chance to win on Saturday.

Year 3rd and 1-3 3rd and 4-6 3rd and 7-10 3rd and 11 or more
2008 60.71% 38.10% 20.69% 8.33%
2009 58.70% 38.64% 28.85% 20.00%
2009 27/46 17/44 15/52 6/30

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Inefficiencies

Posted by cuorange on November 30, 2009

Offensive Efficiency

Opponent TD FG Punts TO Downs Half Possess Points OE
MTSU 2 3 3 2 3 1 14 23 1.64
Georgia Tech 3 2 6 2 2 0 15 27 1.80
Boston College 0 6 5 3 1 1 16 18 1.13
TCU 1 1 5 0 4 0 11 10 0.91
Maryland 1 2 6 1 2 0 12 13 1.08
Wake Forest 5 1 6 2 0 1 15 38 2.53
Miami 3 2 3 3 1 1 13 26 2.00
Coastal Carolina 7 0 3 2 0 0 12 49 4.08
Florida State 6 0 3 2 3 0 14 40 2.86
North Carolina State 6 1 3 0 0 1 11 43 3.91
Virginia 4 2 3 0 2 1 12 34 2.83
South Carolina 1  3 1 0  13  10  0.77 
Totals 39 21 53 20 19 6 158 331 2.09

Defensive Efficiency

Opponent TD FG Punts TO Downs Half Possess Points DE
MTSU 1 0 7 3 3 1 15 7 0.47
Georgia Tech 2 3 6 2 0 2 15 23 1.53
Boston College 1 0 10 4 1 1 17 7 0.41
TCU 2 0 6 0 1 2 11 14 1.27
Maryland 3 1 7 1 1 2 15 24 1.60
Wake Forest 0 1 9 2 1 1 14 3 0.21
Miami 3 3 3 4 0 1 14 30 2.14
Coastal Carolina 0 1 8 2 0 2 13 3 0.23
Florida State 2 1 3 5 1 2 14 17 1.21
North Carolina State 3 1 5 1 1 0 11 23 2.09
Virginia 3 0 5 2 2 0 12 21 1.75
South Carolina  2  4 1 2   15    34    2.27  
Totals 24 13 73 28 12 16 166 206 1.24

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Pass Distribution

Posted by cuorange on November 27, 2009

Updated look at where the passes are going, and a reminder that Michael Palmer is money.  FYI – this information comes from the official play by play transcripts on clemsontigers.com. I know what you’re thinking – I, too thought we had more than 12 drops, but that is what the official stats say. Also, there were no drops listed for the Maryland game. I guess Maryland can’t afford that level of statistician.

Player Thrown To Complete Pct Yards TDs 1st Downs Drops
B. Ford 1 1 100.00 4 0 0 0
K. Johnson 1 1 100.00 11 0 1 0
M. Palmer 37 30 81.08 333 3 23 1
J. Harper 10 8 80.00 38 0 1 0
C.J. Spiller 43 29 67.44 421 4 11 0
C. Diehl 3 2 66.67 20 0 2 0
A. Ellington 14 9 64.29 48 0 4 0
X. Dye 21 13 61.90 218 3 11 1
R. Taylor 13 8 61.54 53 0 2 1
T. Ashe 20 11 55.00 124 0 7 0
J. Ford 84 45 53.57 654 5 25 5
M. Jones 15 8 53.33 167 1 5 1
D. Allen 23 9 39.13 96 3 6 3
D. Barry 3 1 33.33 2 1 0 0
B. Clear 10 3 30.00 31 0 1 0
J. Brown 9 2 22.22 24 1 1 0
Interceptions 10
Totals 317 180 56.78 2244 21 100 12

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Tigers take a step back on third down

Posted by cuorange on November 25, 2009

A 5 of 13 day on third downs wasn’t great and the Tigers failed miserably at times, including a 3rd and 1 at the Virginia 4 on the opening drive and two third and goals (one from the 3 and one from the 6). On the flip side, Parker found Jacoby Ford on third and 10 from the UVA 24 for a touchdown that put the Tigers up 10 with 1:52 left in the first half.

Year 3rd and 1-3 3rd and 4-6 3rd and 7-10 3rd and 11 or more
2008 60.71% 38.10% 20.69% 8.33%
2009 60.47% 37.50% 32.61% 20.00%
2009 26/43 15/40 15/46 6/30

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