Three Things You Need to Know about Clemson
For the third consecutive season, two of college football’s top teams will square off with national championship hopes at stake.
Numerous factors including recruiting and player development have allowed Alabama and Clemson to rise to the top of the college football world during this decade.
Since 2011, Alabama and Clemson are the only two teams in college football that have won 10 games or more in seven straight seasons.
Prior to Monday night’s kickoff, find out three things you need to know about the Clemson Tigers.
Performing on the Big Stage
Of any program excluding Alabama, the Clemson Tigers have an impressive resume against top-15 teams under Dabo Swinney.
Since 2015, Clemson is 11-1 against top-15 teams including a 4-0 mark this season against top-15 opponents.
Of their four wins against top-15 teams in 2017, three came in the opening month of the season against Auburn, Louisville and Virginia Tech.
Prior to this season, the last team to beat at least three teams in the top-15 was Notre Dame in 1980.
Capitalizing off Turnovers
In most big games, the team that takes care of the ball the best and cashes in on their opponent’s mistakes has the best chance of winning.
Coming into Monday’s game, Clemson has a +5 turnover margin but has a +68 margin in points off turnovers.
While opposing teams have scored 23 points off 14 turnovers, the Tigers have converted 19 takeaways into 91 of their 460 points scored this season.
A season ago, opponents scored 63 points off Clemson turnovers while Clemson scored 96 points off their opponent’s turnovers.
Veteran Offensive Line
Despite losing 77 percent of their offensive production including the services of Deshaun Watson, Clemson has been able to sustain their effectiveness on offense thanks to an experienced offensive line.
The Tigers returned four of their five starters along the line from 2016 and have been able to maintain their consistency as their starting five have combined for 136 starts and 9,314 career snaps.
The offensive line is a big reason why Clemson’s running game has improved over last season. The Tigers have rushed for 204.1 yard per game, an increase of 34.6 yards per game from 2016.