Clemson (2-0) used 11 sacks defensively to stifle the Auburn (1-1) offense on their way to a 14-6 win in Death Valley.
A defensive battle for all game resulted in Auburn only managing 117 yards of total offense. Clemson managed close to 300 yards of total offense with 283.
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. Auburn was unable to get into the endzone after a first and goal from the four-yard line as Clemson stopped the Tigers on three-consecutive running plays.
Auburn’s defense forced a Clemson punt, turnover, and missed field goal before Clemson finally found the endzone with 3:13 to play in the first half. Clemson put together a 12-play, 88-yard drive that ended in a Kelly Bryant 3-yard touchdown run. Bryant, a factor with his feet all night, led Clemson in rushing yards with 59 yards on the ground.
Bryant’s playmaking ability with his feet opened up the passing game for Clemson, though not a strong one, as Byrant completed 19 of 29 passes for 181 yards. While Jarrett Stidham was 14 of 24 for 185 yards last week against Georgia Southern, Saturday he was only 13 of 24 for 79 yards.
Aside from Kam Pettway’s 79 yards rushing, Auburn’s running game was virtually nonexistent as he was the only Auburn player in double-digits rushing. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham finished the night with -42 rushing yards on his way to being sacked 11 times.
After the half, Clemson scored on its first possession, a 27-yard Kelly Bryant touchdown run. Bryant broke a few Auburn tackles on his way to the endzone, providing the rest of Saturday-night’s scoring.
Auburn had several chances to score in the second half, forcing a Clemson fumble in the third quarter, and four consecutive Clemson punts. Auburn’s possessions following Clemson’s fumble and punts looked like this: Turnover on downs (7 plays, 21 yards), punt (3 plays, 6 yards), punt (3 plays, -5 yards) punt (6 plays, 17 yards), punt (5 plays, -5 yards).
Auburn was unable to stop Clemson in a critical 3rd and 2 situation on the game’s final possession, as Kelly Bryant found another first down for the Tigers. Clemson entered victory formation as the game was then under one minute.
Auburn returns home next Saturday for a 3 p.m. showdown against Mercer. That game will be broadcast on SEC Network.
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