Auburn falls to the defending champs 14

Sep 10, 2017, 12:37
Auburn falls to the defending champs 14

Defense steps up for No. 3 Clemson vs.

- It all comes back to Clemson's defensive line, does it not?

Auburn jumped out to a six-point lead, thanks to some Clemson penalties, a timid Tiger offense, and a turnover, but then was shut down the rest of the night.

"I feel like I'm back at Alabama in 1988 after that one", said Swinney, a former player and assistant coach at Alabama.

"What a hard-fought, gritty game". That's such a reflection of the heart of our guys. "I always had confidence in myself and to be able to do it with the other 10 guys on the defense, there's no greater feeling". As a team, TCU muscled to 195 yards and four touchdowns on 42 carries, while Hill hit 21-of-31 passes for 166 yards.

Despite being outplayed for the majority of the first half, Clemson took a 7-6 lead into the locker room thanks to an impressive drive by quarterback Kelly Bryant and the offense late in the second quarter.

Senior kicker Daniel Carlson stuck a 24-yard field goal on the game's opening drive after Auburn drove down the field, converting third downs and even a fourth-down conversion in the red zone. "All of our goals are still intact, but obviously we had a very disappointing offensive performance".

Clemson scored a playoff-case-boosting nonconference win over an SEC team in which it allowed just six points, and it will continue its pursuit of a third straight playoff bid with a road trip to Louisville next week, where its defensive line will be faced with Heisman victor Lamar Jackson ... but also a vulnerable Cardinals offensive line.

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Auburn and Clemson are both known for their high-powered offenses, but defenses ruled the day in tonight's showdown - and Clemson's emerged victorious. Auburn's 14-6 deficit certainly felt larger after the Tigers sacked Stidham on back-to-back dropbacks to force a three-and-out. "We weren't getting into a rhythm offensively, but our defense was out there playing their butts off and we said we had to match the intensity they were bringing out there".

Maybe the emergence of Williams, who had just two rushes for 17 yards vs. the Boilermakers, will help take pressure off Jackson in the way that Brandon Radcliff did past year, and defensively, there were the positives of North Carolina's two possessions when it was a five-point game in the fourth quarter ending on downs and with a forced fumble.

Until that score, Auburn held the upper hand for much of the half.

Auburn had several chances to score in the second half, forcing a Clemson fumble in the third quarter, and four consecutive Clemson punts. "No matter what adversity they're going through, they're going to get through it", he said.

"There's a lot of different things that the offensive staff will look and try to get a good plan moving forward", said Malzahn.

Hunter Renfrow had nine catches and 62 yards for Clemson. Junior PK Greg Huegel already ranks ninth on Clemson's career scoring list with 258 career points.

Auburn gave the defending champions a hard time in last season's 19-13 loss at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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