It’s Tiger on Tiger action as Clemson tries gets its second chance at a team from Alabama in 2016, while Auburn desperately needs to come up with something splashy. Check out the Clemson vs. Auburn fearless prediction and preview.
Clemson vs. Auburn Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 3rd
Game Time: 9:00 pm
Venue: Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn, AL
Why Clemson Will Win
Clemson’s concerns coming into the season work around trying to fill in a few gaps, but there aren’t any major issues – especially on offense.
Does Auburn have the defensive front to be able to handle Deshaun Watson and the Clemson offensive backfield? It’s got the line, but can the linebackers hold up when Watson and RB Wayne Gallman can get to the second level?
There’s absolutely no weakness among the amazing set of ACC Tiger skill players, with the receiving corps getting even better thanks to the return of Mike Williams to go along with the talent in the backfield. Do the SEC Tigers have enough to stop the offensive firestorm that’s coming? Do they have the offense of their own to keep up?
Auburn’s offense should be better than it was throughout its inconsistent 2015, but the running back situation is still a question mark, the receiving corps is okay, and the pop has to be there from the first drive. Clemson will score in a variety of ways – can Auburn score consistently in any way?
Why Auburn Will Win
Don’t blow off that this isn’t a neutral site game like Alabama vs. USC, and it’s not like some of the other key non-conference showdowns being played away from a home field. This is in Jordan-Hare, and it’s a late night game with the Auburn fans getting all day to get ready – however you want to spin that – to make this one of the best atmospheres of the opening weekend.
After so many problems and so many misfires last year, this is a team and a program looking to get back on the national map. Beating Clemson would change the expectations and the narrative for just how good the Tigers can be this year, and they should come out roaring.
Of course, it’s a 60-minute game, and the flip-side to all this is the potential for Clemson to weather the early storm with a few scoring drives to take the air out of the balloon, but the hope is for one of Auburn’s strengths – the O line – to win the battle against the questionable Clemson D line. If the SEC Tigers can go on any sustained drives and keep Watson off the field, confidence could mean everything as the game goes on.
To put this on the field, Carl Lawson and the Auburn defensive front should be able to turn it loose and get in Watson’s face all game long. Keep him in the pocket, don’t let him get comfortable, and keep on hitting him. The AU line has the ability to do just that.
What’s Going To Happen?
Auburn will make this a game, but does it have the firepower to keep up? Even thought Sean White is getting the call, John Franklin III is the team’s most dangerous playmaker and has to somehow be a factor. The Auburn quarterbacks have to outplay Watson, and that’s not going to happen.
The AU defense will keep it from getting out of hand, and the crowd will be at a whole other level of crazy at times during the first half, but Clemson’s cool heads will prevail in what’ll be one of the most exciting games of the wild first weekend.
Clemson will win, but Auburn will have a lot to be fired up about.
Clemson vs. Auburn Prediction
Final Score: Clemson 37, Auburn 30
Line: Clemson -7.5, o/u: 59
ATS Confidence: 5: Lock of the Century – 1: Move Along … 1
Must See Rating: 5: Any Ryan Lochte interview – 1: Bridget Jones’s Baby … 5