Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said earlier this week that Louisville, the second-ranked Tigers’ opponent Saturday in Death Valley, is the best 2-6 team in the country. However, the numbers the Cardinals are producing this year don’t back up Swinney’s statement.
In fact, the numbers indicate that the Cardinals (2-6, 0-5 ACC) are who they are, a team that has lost five straight games and is struggling on both sides of the football.
Louisville ranks last in the ACC in scoring offense at 22.2 points per game and rushing defense (250.6 yds/game). The Cardinals rank 13th in scoring defense (36.2 pts/game), total offense (351.9 yds/game), total defense (438.0) and in rushing offense (116.8) in the 14-team conference.
They are also last in turnovers lost (16), turnovers forced (6) and turnover margin (-10). They also anchor the league in sacks allowed (26) and are 13th in tackles for loss (59).
Below are some numbers you need to know for Saturday’s game:
1: Clemson enters the Louisville game as the only program in the country in the Top 10 in both total offense (522.6, tied for eighth) and total defense (263.9, third). Clemson’s 258.7-yard average yardage differential is the best in the country, more than two yards ahead of top-ranked Alabama (+256.4).
4: Clemson attempting to win four consecutive games by at least 30 points for the first time in school history. The Tigers have earned wins of 60, 34 and 49 points in their last three contests.
5: Clemson winning a fifth game with Lawrence as the starting quarterback to give him the school record for most wins as a true freshman starting quarterback.
9-0: Clemson attempting to open a season 9-0 for the fifth time in program history and the third time in the last four years (1948, 1981, 2015 and 2016). Clemson earned conference titles in all of the previous four seasons in which it opened 9-0.
10: Clemson attempting to hold opponents to 10 or fewer points in four straight games for the first time since the first four games of the 2000 season.
46: Clemson needs 46 points to break the team record for points in a four-game span, set in 1900 (208). That four-game stretch in 1900 featured point totals of 39, 12 and 35 prior to a 122-0 win vs. Guilford.
258.7: Clemson has outgained its opponents by an average of 258.7 yards per game through the first eight games of the season, two yards ahead of top-ranked Alabama for the largest average yardage differential in the country. Clemson is one of only three schools in the country currently outgaining opponents by 200 or more yards per game.
400: Clemson completing “The most exciting 25 seconds in college football” for the 400th time in history. The Tigers have run down The Hill prior to every home game since 1942 with exception of the 1970-71 seasons, the first four games of 1972 and the first game of 1973.
1,000: Etienne (845) rushing for 155 yards to reach the 1,000-yard mark in his nine game of the season to tie Terrence Flagler’s school record for fewest games needed to reach 1,000 rushing yards (nine in 1986). Etienne’s 2018 campaign would be the 21st 1,000-yard rushing season in school history.