The First Look – Clemson

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With week one in the books, Auburn looked good. Especially on the defensive side. If you haven’t, you can read WarBlogle’s review on Georgia Southern here. Also, don’t forget to look at how you did in Pick ‘Em (also, sign up now) and check out WB’s SEC Rankings.

Auburn now turns their attention to Clemson. We’ve analyzed the depth chart, talked with Clemson Tom, so “The First Look” may not be accurate, but that’s okay.

TEAM:
Auburn has played Clemson 5 times since 2007 and gone 2-3 in those games scoring 21.2 PPG and allowing 25.4 PPG. The last time the two teams played was a 13-19 loss in 2016 that Auburn had a very good shot at winning.

QUARTERBACK:
Last year aside, Auburn hasn’t played Clemson well. Auburn Qbs have 5 TDs and 7 INTs. Auburn QBs have an average QB rating of 122.9. Cam Newton had one of the better games a QB has had against Clemson going 7/14 for 203 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs (this game was nuts). Ill bet my paycheck that Auburn doesn’t try a 3 QB rotation, so Stidham must remain calm and stay poised.

RUNNINGBACKS:
Running Backs have had similar challenges against Clemson. Tre Mason (’12) and Michael Dyer (’11) are the only 2 running backs to go over 100 yards against Clemson. Auburn’s offensive line must create running lanes for the RBs. Having Kam Pettway will give Auburn an advantage they did not have last year. However, the real question is if Kerryon Johnson will return. He provided this insight to War Blogle earlier this week:

TO BE SUCCESSFUL:
Auburn needs the offense to stay confident and keep their rhythm. The O-line needs to protect Stidham and provide running lanes for the RBs. Easier said than done.

The defensive line needs to provide pressure and contain the run. They’ve proven they can do that against a trick triple option. The more pressure that the D-line can produce, the easier it will be for the secondary to be successful.

@AuburnEinstein PREDICTION:
I was close with my prediction last week. There was a bit more rust than I’d hoped for, but that’s okay. They say the biggest improvement happens from week 1 to week 2. I think Auburn has a slow start offensively and makes the proper adjustments. The defense will bail them out and Auburn will force a mistake late and seal the 27-24 victory.