Auburn at Clemson
Two of the last 5 teams to win a National Championship face off this weekend. Clemson is ranked #3 in the country while Auburn is #13.
When Auburn Has The Ball: Kamryn Pettaway returns to the starting lineup and should give Auburn’s entire offense a boost with his interior running ability. Kam Martin proved last week he can be an effective outside runner so Auburn should have no issues with their backs. The offensive line play was the biggest concern coming out of the Georgia State game but the coaching staff believes it was largely communication issues related to the inexperience of the left side of their line. They’ll need to get that dialed in against the Clemson defensive line. Stidham has a cannon and Auburn has plenty of receiver depth. Clemson, meanwhile, looks like a team that can be passed on, so I would expect Auburn to test them early and often.
When Clemson Has The Ball: Kelly Bryant is an unproven quarterback with an unproven running back sharing the backfield with him. Auburn’s defensive line is ten deep and should wreak havoc on Clemson’s offensive line. Bryant appears to excel at running the ball, which is the best way to attack Kevin Steele’s defenses. Deon Cain will need to have a big day catching the ball, and while he is very talented, Auburn has NFL level talent across the secondary. Javaris Davis and Carlton Davis are both capable of shadowing Cain whenever he hits their side of the field. It’s tough to see how Clemson will have success throwing the ball against Auburn. I feel like Marlon Davidson and Jeff Holland will combine for 3-4 sacks.
Prediction: I predicted Clemson to win the ACC and Auburn to win the SEC and I’m sticking with that for now. I think a lot has to go right for Auburn to win this game but mostly their defensive line needs to dominate Clemson and rattle their inexperienced quarterback and I think it will. Auburn 24 Clemson 17