Clemson 2010

Clemson (2009 Statistics)

  • Lately this team keeps climbing up the ladder of success, but finds itself knocked back down.  You could argue that they were successful in 2009 given their 9-5 record.  But 4 of those 5 losses were really close games (decided by 5 points or less), which means they could have finished with an even better record. In the last four years they’ve had 15 such games decided by 5 or less points and have only won twice!  Even with the coaching change during the mid 2008 season from Tommy Bowden to Dabo Swinney, the identity at Clemson is still one that mentally cannot finish. 
  • They really peaked in 2006 thanks to a rushing offense led by James Davis and CJ Spiller that ranked #5 in the nation.  Ironically, Spiller and Davis shared running duties for three years, but only in their first year of performing together in 2006 did they impress.  Their numbers declined each year and by their last year together, Clemson’s rushing offense was a full 100 yards per game down from where it had begun.  (Clemson averaged just 118 yards per game rushing in 2008 compared to 218 ypg in 2006).  So last year when Spiller had the job to himself, it was interesting to see the rushing numbers improve.  Sure Spiller had a great year, but I don’t think it was the absence of an additional threat in Davis as much as it was the improvement of the Offensive Line.
  • CJ Spiller leaves Clemson (now in the NFL playing for Buffalo) with 31 school records as well as many ACC and NCAA records.  This offense needs to find a new identity without him, not just running but also in receiving and special teams (he returned both Punts and Kickoffs).  He had a school record 7 Kickoffs returned for touchdowns. 
  • This rushing offense is only as good as its Offensive Line. Without a cohesive, experienced line to open up holes for the backs to run through, it was nearly impossible for Clemson to run the ball.  And in both 2007 and 2008 they had to replace four of five starters on the Line.  Last year they improved to their best rushing numbers in years (aside from 2006) because they were experienced.  It also helped that Dabo Swinney had his first full year as head coach and was able to implement his changes, which included using larger players.  In the end, regardless of how much talent this team has, it all comes down to their Offensive Line and figuring out the right players and schemes to make it work. 
  • The Quarterback is Kyle Parker.  He is a baseball player (contract with the Colorado Rockies) and you will probably hear it mentioned during every single broadcast this year.  Parker has a really strong arm (duh, he’s a baseball player) but statistically last year as a red-shirt freshman he was just average. 
  • Clemson’s defense has been steady and in the top 20 in the country for the past five years in terms of total yards allowed.  This unit is completely reliable and they have plenty of talent returning in 2010.  If there’s one thing you can say about Clemson it’s that their defense has been getting the job done.  This year the defensive line (line 1) is in good shape, but their linebackers (line 2) and defensive backs (line 3) are less experienced. 
  • I’m just not sure how you can lose so many close games without imploding?

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  1. Clemson 2011 says:

    […] Harper unexpectedly took off for the NFL (drafted in the 4th round) but Andre Ellington is the expected starter. Ellington played in eight games in 2010 before he suffered a season-ending foot injury and is due to be the starter along with three back-ups (Demont Buice, Roderick McDowell and D.J. Howard who have little experience but plenty of promise).  Rookie Mike Bellamy is being hyped as the “next CJ Spiller.” […]