Aug. 11, 1999
Clemson made significant improvement offensively over the course of the 1998 season. The young offense had to replace four-year starters Nealon Greene, Raymond Priester, Tony Horne, Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren. All five made professional football rosters in 1998.
As a result, Clemson got off to a slow start offensively in 1998, averaging just 15.3 points, 273 yards total offense and 12.4 first downs per game for the first seven games of the season. But, over the last four games of the year, Clemson averaged 27.8 points, 361 yards of total offense, 222 yards passing and 20 first downs per game. The Tigers had 39 points and 440 yards total offense against NC State on October 31, season highs against the Wolfpack team that held Florida State to seven points.
Clemson had more points in the last four games, than it had in the first seven games combined. The Tigers had nine touchdown passes over the last four games, compared to just four total in the first nine games.
Clemson started eight underclassmen on offense over the last four games, meaning the Tigers should have some experience on offense at the beginning of the 1999 season.
Here is a comparison of the Clemson offense for the first seven games with the final four contests:
Category 1st 7 games Last 4 games Points/Game 15.3 27.8 Total Offense 273 361 Rushing/Game 109.6 139.3 Passing Yards/Game 163.3 221.8 Firstdowns/Game 12.4 19.8 Completion % .510 .556 3rd down Conv. % .235 .446 Touchdowns/Game 1.86 3.75 Touchdown Passes 4 9 Passing Efficiency 105.5 126.6
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