NCAAF Daily Discussion – 1/1/21 (Friday)

Some of you may know me from NFL discussion. I post long writeups, hopefully help some people. 44-12-1 since Week 10 in NFL. Like Clemson too much to not do a writeup.

The Clemson offense is simply unstoppable. I don’t know how you stop it, or even slow it down. Ohio state did last year, or did for a quarter, and then they gave up 29 in the final 3 quarters. That Ohio state team had 2 top 5 picks, as well as a second corner go in round 1. Because of those lockdown corners and Chase Freaking Young, they got to the passer at an extraordinary rate, a rate of 12.3% to be exact, which was tops in all of FBS. They were twelfth in standard down sack rate (sack rate on standard down pass attempts, like 1st and 10, 2nd and 6, and so on) and 1st in passing down sack rate (3rd and 8, 2nd and 15, and so on). This year? A different story. 36th in regular sack rate, and a whopping 109th in standard downs sack rate. A very nice 12th in passing down sack rate. The story here is that OSU is unable to get to the Quarterback unless it is third and long. As I mentioned before, I have no idea how you stop Trevor Lawrence, but getting pressure seems like a good start, and OSU has not shown the capability of doing that as well as they have in years past. Not that you needed proof, but Clemson’s Oline is 5th in the Power 5 in sack rate allowed.

Lets flip the switch here and look at the Clemson Dline vs the OSU oline. The Ohio state oline are absolute maulers in the run game. Trey Sermon just rushed for 331 against Northwestern, and the oline put on a clinic. Clemson is no slouch against the run, ranking 10th in line yards allowed, but Ohio State certainly has an advantage here. The biggest mismatch in the game is the pass rush for Clemson and the pass protection (or lack thereof) for Ohio State. Ohio state gives up sacks on 9.5% of dropbacks, that is good for 111th best in football. Clemson has the 2nd best sack rate in CFB, the best rate on standard downs, only the 13th best on Passing downs, likely because their DC does most of the blitzing on first and second down. It is not even like Ohio State has faced any good pass rushing teams. Only one of the 6 teams they played ranks in the top 50 in Sack rate (Indiana). Meanwhile Clemson has faced 4 teams with sack rates in the top 50, including ND twice! Making Clemson's dominance even more impressive. 

I had a plethora of stats to choose from, but I felt showing the disparities in each team’s offensive and defensive line has the best chance to be the deciding outcome of this game. I truthfully do not know how Clemson scores less than 40. Ohio States only way to stay in this game is to run the ball and have the ball be out of Lawrence’s hands by him being on the sideline. If they get down 21-7 early and have to pass their way out of a hole, that Clemson dline is going to eat up Fields and have a field day. Clemson makes a statement. Dabo hates Ohio State. They run it up. Clemson 52- OSU 24 MAX BET-Clemson -7. (Clemson TT is also a fine play.)

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