Tigers have the edge in Cotton Bowl Classic

Tigers have the edge in Cotton Bowl Classic


Tigers have the edge in Cotton Bowl Classic

Clemson vs. Notre Dame: Tale of the tape

If the 2018 Cottle Bowl was played on paper, second-ranked Clemson would already be on its way to the national championship game.

However, it is not so the Tigers still have to face No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 29 in the first semifinal game of the College Football Playoff.

When just looking at the numbers, it appears Clemson is the better team. The Tigers have a sizable advantage in points scored and points allowed.

Clemson is better at running the football and stopping the run. The Tigers also throw the ball for more yards and average nearly 100 more yards of offense overall.

Notre Dame does have a slight edge in turnover margin, but that is it. Every other statistical advantage goes to the Tigers. Below is a tale of tape for the 2018 Cotton Bowl.

Notre Dame (12-0)

Points/game: 33.8

Points allowed/game: 17.3

Rushing yards/game: 190.5

Rushing yards allowed/game: 133.5

Passing yards/game: 265.6

Passing yards allowed/game: 198.0

Total offense/game: 456.1

Total defense/game: 331.5

Sacks: 31

Sacks allowed: 19

Tackles for loss: 73

Tackles for loss allowed: 68

Turnover margin: Plus 5

Third down conversions: 44.3 percent

Third down defense: 37.8 percent

Red zone offense: 86.3 percent

Red Zone defense: 78.8 percent

Red Zone TDs: 62.8 percent

Red zone TDs allowed: 54.6 percent

Clemson (13-0)

Points/game: 45.4

Points allowed/game: 13.7

Rushing yards/game: 260.8

Rushing yards allowed/game: 93.0

Passing yards/game: 270.1

Passing yards allowed/game: 183.8

Total offense/game: 529.8

Total defense/game: 276.8

Sacks: 45

Sacks allowed: 14

Tackles for loss: 122

Tackles for loss allowed: 45

Turnover margin: +4

Third down conversions: 44 percent

Third down defense: 28 percent

Red zone offense: 91 percent

Red Zone defense: 74 percent

Red Zone TDs: 79 percent

Red zone TDs allowed: 45 percent



Outside of Sammy Watkins’ freshman season in 2011, no freshman wide receiver had the kind of year Clemson’s Justyn Ross had this past year. The Alabama native hit the 1,000-yard mark thanks to (…)


He is probably the most unheralded player on the defense, but without him, Clemson might not be a national champion for a second time in three years. At 6-foot, 235-pounds, Kendall Joseph is considered a (…)

More The Clemson Insider