A Preseason Look at Clemson

Pitt’s 2021 Opponents

I expect to lose this game, but I am going to go through my normal motions. Maybe there are some glimmers of hope, but expect gloom, despair, and agony on Pitt fans by the end of the game.

But first the stat of the day – Offense wins games. I put together the NCAA offensive stats for the ACC (and Notre Dame) for the 2020 season. The stats use yards per game (Y/G) as the basis. Here is the data:

That is a lot of numbers. Would a graph help?

Note: to make the chart more readable, I inverted the team rankings. For example, UNC is NCAA ranked # 18 in pass, #11 in run and #5 in total offense out of 127 teams. On the chart, those numbers are #110, #117 and #123 respectively.

What seems strange is the sudden dip in total offense ranking after the top four wining teams. Basically, NC State, Boston College, and Pitt are in a tie with Duke and only outclass Syracuse.

I have my ideas why but go ahead and speculate. I am thinking of an article on offense, defense, scoring offense and scoring defense. If possible, I can add any suggestion that you believe is a key to winning season.   Do NOT suggest a new coach.

On to the Clemson review.

Here is Clemson’s schedule:

Truly unbelievable recruiting (at least for the ACC).

Using Numerical Rivals Ranking (NRR) three of the five classes round to an average Rivals 5.9  4-star recruit, the other two classes are only 5.8  4- stars.

Any transfer entrees? Nope.

Names to know. They have a bunch. First are returning 2020 All ACC selections. The second list is from Athlon with additional names.

Quite a list of players. Hope you can remember all of those names. Justyn Ross(WR) missed all of 2020 season to injury. Tyler Davis(DT) missed most of 2020 season to injury.

That is all for recruiting, Transfer Portal players in and names to know. After reading the above, are you experiencing deep, dark depression or excessive misery? I am.

On to who are leaving the Clemson program – they did lose some players to the NFL draft:

Not as many as you would think. Any transfer portal (TP) entries? More than I expected.

DeMarkcus Bowman enrolled at Clemson so that his grandfather could see him play. Once his grandfather died, Bowman transferred back to his home state of Florida. Both Jones (honorable mention) and Kenrick (1st team) were 2020 All ACC selections. 

Kendrick had numerous disciplinary problems (he missed last season Pitt game amongst others) at Clemson. He also had an unfortunate incident where he was found asleep in his girlfriends car with a gun in his lap and some weed in his possession. (I am beginning to believe I should be a police blotter Journalist).

I promised some glimmers of hope, small and desperate but hope just the same. Here it is:

In my Virginia Tech article, I mentioned the fact that Clemson is presently down to a walk-on QB to back-up starter D.J. Uiagaleleia. Maybe he sustains an injury or illness prior to the Pitt game.

The second may be a lack of a potent running game.  Bowman was slated to be the next RB after Etienne, but he left. The top two rushers during the 2020 season (T. Etienne and T. Lawrence are off to the pro’s. The 4’th leading rusher (C. Mellusi) is now on the Wisconsin roster. That leaves 3’rd leading rusher Lyn-J Dixon (42 carries for 190 yards, 4.5/rush. The 5’th leading rusher is Darien Render (started his career as a walk-on and is a fan favorite. 24 carries for 137 yards – 5.7/rush).

To wrap it up – Gloom, Despair and Agony will be inflected by Clemson.

Special thanks to MajorMajors (John) and Annie (Annie) for posting and then identifying a comment that I blatantly ripped off in this article. With that, I am proud to say I saw the Hee-Haw cast members “The Hager Twins” perform at half time or intermission of the annual Jacksonville, Tx.  Rodeo Days Festival. So, take that you concert goers with your Stones, the Who and Led Zeppelin memories.

Hail to Pitt