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Clemson 24, Notre Dame 22: That wasn't an awful 2-point decision, btw

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Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

clemndwp

Top 5 plays

Play Number

Offense

Down

Distance

Spot

Quarter

Play Description

Home Team Win Prob Before Play

Home Team Win Prob Added

1

185

Clemson

1

10

60

4

Team Team Rush for -4

0.767

0.233

2

184

Notre Dame

0

0

0

4

KICKOFF

0.670

0.096

3

168

Notre Dame

2

10

12

4

DeShone Kizer Pass to Chris Brown for 8

0.833

0.089

4

2

Clemson

1

10

64

1

Deshaun Watson Rush for 38, FIRST DOWN

0.589

0.088

5

183

Notre Dame

1

65

65

4

PENALTY

0.748

-0.078

Clemson 24, Notre Dame 22

Confused? Visit the Advanced Stats glossary here.

Basics Clemson Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
Total Plays 64 71
Close Rate (non-garbage time) 98.5%
Avg Starting FP 33.4 26.9 29.6
Possessions 16 14
Scoring Opportunities*
7 6
Points Per Opportunity 3.43 4.00 4.72
Leverage Rate** 71.9% 59.4% 68.2%
Close S&P*** 0.526 0.548 0.583
* A scoring opportunity occurs when an offense gets a first down inside the opponent's 40 (or scores from outside the 40).
** Leverage Rate = Standard Downs / (Standard Downs + Passing Downs)
*** When using IsoPPP, the S&P formula is (0.8*Success Rate) + (0.2*IsoPPP)
EqPts (what's this?) Clemson Notre Dame
Total 27.2 38.2
Rushing 17.7 11.2
Passing 9.5 27.0
Success Rate (what's this?) Clemson Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
All (close) 37.5% 39.1% 41.4%
Rushing (close) 38.1% 35.5% 42.3%
Passing (close) 36.4% 42.1% 40.5%
Standard Downs 45.7% 43.9% 46.9%
Passing Downs 16.7% 32.1% 29.7%
IsoPPP (what's this?) Clemson Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
All (close) 1.13 1.18 1.26
Rushing (close) 1.11 0.98 1.07
Passing (close) 1.19 1.32 1.47
Standard Downs 0.97 0.87 1.10
Passing Downs 2.29 1.79 1.78
Line Stats Clemson Notre Dame Nat'l Avg
Line Yards/Carry (what's this?) 2.61 2.54 2.82
Std. Downs Sack Rt. 0.0% 15.8% 4.9%
Pass. Downs Sack Rt. 0.0% 5.3% 7.1%
Turnovers Clemson Notre Dame
Turnovers 1 4
Turnover Points (what's this?) 3.3 17.3
Turnover Margin Clemson +3
Exp. TO Margin Clemson +3.21
TO Luck (Margin vs. Exp. Margin) Notre Dame +0.21
TO Points Margin Clemson +14.1 points
Situational Clemson Notre Dame
Q1 S&P 0.722 0.392
Q2 S&P 0.351 0.457
Q3 S&P 0.522 0.474
Q4 S&P 0.550 0.849
1st Down S&P 0.514 0.602
2nd Down S&P 0.569 0.526
3rd Down S&P 0.471 0.678
Projected Scoring Margin: Clemson by 3.1
Actual Scoring Margin: Clemson by 2

I came away from this game thinking more highly of both teams. Notre Dame killed itself with turnovers -- the Irish out gained the Tigers by 141 yards and had the only offense that did anything on passing downs -- but kept coming back from the dead and almost got the game to overtime regardless. Clemson, meanwhile, kept struggling to put the game away and kept making one more play to stay ahead. Really fun and intense.

I didn't mind Notre Dame's decision to go for two down 21-9, by the way. With 14 minutes left in the game, your most realistic comeback scenarios don't involve the opponent scoring, so Brian Kelly elected to go for 2 so he knew whether he needed a TD and a FG or two TDs to get all the way back. Made sense to me. We tend to rip apart coaches who go for 2 too early in this regard, but the math is the same either way, and if you wait till the end to go for 2, all your eggs are in that basket.

Kelly didn't HAVE to go for 2 (which ended up costing him when ND missed and Clemson added a field goal to go up 15), but just because it didn't work out didn't make it a bad call.