South Carolina is a good offense and an FBS average defense. I’m surprised to see a Muschamp team can’t get to the passer and giving up yards. They rank 73rd in sack rate and 55th in yards/play allowed, mainly due to terrible efficiency stats: 119th in Rushing Efficiency and 110th in Passing Efficiency. They have an experienced DL, LB, and corners, but have been hit hard at safety. They are missing J.T. Ibe, Nick Harvey, Jamyest Williams, and Javon Charleston. Jaycee Horn sprained his ankle on Saturday, but plans to play.
While their secondary has ball skills, CB’s Henton and Nixon and S Horn each have 8 PBU+INT. Fenton leads the team with 3 INT. LB Brunson leads the team in tackles with 65.5, sacks with 4, and ties DE Keir Thomas with 10 TFL. I expect Brunson to blitz a lot, but Lawrence should handle this just fine after the past couple of games.
South Carolina ties Clemson with yards per pass attempt at 8.0, but connects longer per completion. Clemson has a better completion percentage at 64.7% vs. South Carolina’s 63.9%. While we make fun of them for being little brother to WRU, they have a decent passing game. They rank 51st in yards/rush, though (Clemson ranks 2nd). AJ Turner is their best back with 6.4 yards/carry, but only has 46 carries on the year. He’s fourth in terms of number of carries. Listed at 5’10”, 195 lbs., maybe he’s not big enough to be a workhorse, but he can pull off some big runs.
Even though we think of him as a safety (we offered him as a S), Bryan Edwards is their best WR with 10.1 yards/target and 64.6% catch rate. Deebo Samuel comes in at 8.3 yards/target and 62.3% catch rate. Shi Smith is third and OrTre Smith, a WR recruit we lost, only has 3 catches on the year due to season ending surgery after two games.
The numbers say this should be a comfortable victory, but South Carolina will put up a fight. It’s best to knock them out early and run up the score.
FEI likes Clemson’s offense less than the other rating systems because it heavily weights the best teams; it wants to see how a team performs against the best competition. I agree with that. That’s why I think Clemson has a top 5 offense, but want to see it against a top defense before I say for sure. Three out of four of the rating systems we use every week say it’s not a top 5 offense, but close.
Offense vs. Defense