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Tale of the Tape: Clemson

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Numbers, horrifying numbers. Look away!

North Carolina Clemson
Record 2-1 2-1
ACC Record 0-0 0-1
AP Poll Rank N/R N/R
Points Per Game 42.7 37.0
Total TDs 17 14
Total Offense Per Game 425.3 477.7
Total Offense Per Play 5.3 5.9
Rushing Per Game 161.3 152.3
Rushing Per Att 4.0 3.4
Passing Per Game 264.0 325.3
Passing Per Att 6.7 9.0
Fumbles Lost 1 2
Interceptions 5 1
3rd Down Conv. 41.6% 40.7%
4th Down Conv. 75.0% 60.0%
Red Zone Conv. 100.0% 72.2%
Field Goals 3-5 4-7
Points Allowed Per Game 42.0 25.0
Total Defense Per Game 548.0 273.3
Total Defense Per Play 6.7 4.4
Rushing Per Game 222.7 116.0
Rushing Per Att 5.5 3.6
Passing Per Game 325.3 157.3
Passing Per Att 7.9 5.2
Fumbles Recovered 4 1
Interceptions 6 3
Sacks 4.0 10.0
Tackles for Loss 20.0 29.0
3rd Down Conv. 51.1% 25.8%
4th Down Conv. N/A 50.0%
Red Zone Conv. 76.9% 71.4%

In case you're wondering, CFB Stats has UNC 126th out of 128th teams in total defense giving up a cool 548 yards per game so far. Being over the 500 yard mark puts UNC in the company of suchs teams as Bowling Green, SMU, Florida Atlantic and Idaho. Yes, that Idaho. The only consolation here is South Carolina is 114th. UNC is giving up 6.71 yards per play which is 116th. Granted the sheer totality of yardage put up by ECU really skewed the average here but given what we've seen there isn't much hope UNC can correct that by holding someone to say, 200 yards of total offense. For the record, Clemson is 36th in total offense which means, should UNC continue to play poorly on defense, things could get ugly in a hurry.

On the other side of the ball, UNC's offense isn't necessarily knocking walls down despite a nice, fact 42.7 points per game and 72nd ranked 425.3 yards per game. The reality of what happened on Saturday is that while the defense was horrible, the offense really didn't help much despite putting up 41 points. There were too many unproductive drives with UNC settling for field goals or going three and out. ECU's offensive totals can be traced, in part, to having the ball too many times. A tempo offense that goes three and out repeatedly against a team that can score at will is going to see that team put up some gaudy numbers. Had UNC slowed the game down, it could have mitigated some of those yards and points. Of course that only changes the perception of the game and does nothing for the reality which is the present state of the defense.

Speaking of defense, Clemson's numbers have recovered nicely from being gashed against Georgia though that includes rolling over South Carolina State and facing Florida State sans Jameis Winston. Still, the sack and tackles for loss numbers are downright frightening knowing what we know about the Tar Heel offensive line. Clemson is 33rd in sacks and 11th in tackles for a loss. That could mean yet another game where the rushing offense is unproductive and unless UNC opts for quick passes to keep Maquise Williams out of trouble, he could find himself being hit a lot.