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 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 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
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 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