Clemson Football 2013 Bowl Capsule

Clemson Tigers


Lots of good things were expected for the Tigers entering the season.  Clemson did not disappoint.  Their plans to win the ACC title hit a snag when they fell to a somewhat surprising Florida State team.  Outside of that one game, the Tigers have been outstanding.  They are a highly skilled offensive squad with a lot of veteran leadership.  Quarterback Tahj Boyd is setting records in Death Valley.  Wide receiver Sammy Watkins might be one of the most explosive players in the country in space.  They may not play for the ACC title, but they are a shoe-in for a New Year’s-style bowl showdown.

2013 Record: 10-2, 7-1
Coach: Dabo Swinney
Coach Bowl Record: 2-3

Big Wins: 8/31 Georgia (38-35), 11/14 Georgia Tech (55-31)
Bad Losses: 10/19 Florida State (14-51), 11/30 at South Carolina (17-31)

Most certainly you would have to point to the offense.  Clemson won the ACC in offensive output.  Over 330 yards per game and over 41 points amounts to an elite unit.  Boyd has thrown 29 touchdowns and only nine interceptions while also reaching nine touchdowns with his legs.  He is a game technician who will have his name etched in Clemson history.   He has thrown for over 11,000 yards in his four seasons in Death Valley.  Watkins is also a big factor in Clemson winning games.  He is so fast that he is generally a blur if he gets a step on the defensive back.  He is among the top 40 in the country in all-purpose yards between returning kicks and being a deep threat on the outside.  He had nine touchdowns and 1,000 yards receiving by mid-November.  Not to be overshadowed, the defense has been ferocious this season.  They have been the best unit in the country at tackles for loss.  They rarely ever stayed on the field too long.  They were eighth in the country in third down defense.

It is difficult to find a weakness on a team like the one Clemson has.  One of a few that sticks out is the inability of the offensive line to protect their quarterback.  They were 12th in the ACC in sacks allowed.  Boyd is an athletic quarterback that uses his legs a lot to try and make plays.  The fact that he was sacked nearly three times per game means defenders were just opening holes and attacking the backfield.  Clemson had a high number of negative plays this year due to some protection breakdowns.  The Tigers’ special teams unit could use a little help as well.  They were last in the conference in kickoff returns and among the worst teams in the country.  The field position battle was often in favor of the other team.  The Tigers did not turn the ball over often, but when they put the ball on the ground it generally meant a change of possession.  They lost 12 fumbles over the course of the season.  They cannot cough it up if they want to stay ahead of their opponent in the bowl game.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Roderick McDowell, RB, 956 yards
Passing: Tajh Boyd, QB, 3,473 yards
Receiving: Sammy Watkins, WR, 1,237 yards
Tackles: Spencer Shuey, LB, 89
Sacks: Vic Beasley, DE, 12.0
Interceptions: Bashaud Breeland, CB, 4

2013 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 172.7 (61st in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 329.3 (12, 1)
Total Offense: 502.0 (12, 2)
Scoring Offense: 40.2 (12, 2)
Rushing Defense: 152.6 (50, 7)
Pass Defense: 198.3 (15, 3)
Total Defense: 350.8 (23, 4)
Scoring Defense: 21.1 (19, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.3 (40, 4)
Sacks: 2.75 (23, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.75 (103, 12)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2012    Chick-fil-A Bowl        LSU (25-24)
2011    Orange Bowl            West Virginia (33-70)
2010    Car Care of Texas Bowl    USF (26-31)
2009    Music City Bowl        Kentucky (21-13)
2008    Gator Bowl            Nebraska (21-26)
2007    Chick-fil-A Bowl        Auburn (20-23)

*all team stats through 11/30


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