Defense leads Clemson past Auburn

TALL TASK

Auburn's defensive front will force Bryant into a couple of game-changing mistakes, set up the offense in good field position and the SEC variety of Tigers will spring the upset.

Clemson's defense racked up a staggering 11 sacks, harassing Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham all game and holding him to just 79 yards passing.

"What a hard-fought, gritty game. We felt like they were going to do a lot of blitzing, which they did".

Auburn had several chances to score in the second half, forcing a Clemson fumble in the third quarter, and four consecutive Clemson punts.

Kelly Bryant: That 27-yard keeper early in the second half for a touchdown was - dare we say it - a bit Deshaun Watson-like from Clemson's new starting quarterback. But he returned on the Tigers' next series and led them on an 88-yard touchdown drive, which Bryant ended with a 3-yard run to put them ahead 7-6 just before halftime.

"We've got really great players on the offensive side of the ball and I've seen that in camp". "The last drive before the half was a thing of beauty. We've got to be able to run, play action and we will get better, I promise you that". Kenny Hill served up an interception in TCU territory with the game knotted at 7-7, but Arkansas's ensuing drive stalled at the goal line and Cole Hedlund could not convert a 23-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.

According to the ESPN broadcast Saturday night, it only took two weeks of action for Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn to assume play-calling duties again.

Junior defensive end Austin Bryant had four sacks, tying the school single-game record shared by Keith Adams and Andre Branch. Auburn's 14-6 deficit certainly felt larger after the Tigers sacked Stidham on back-to-back dropbacks to force a three-and-out.

In total, Auburn managed 117 yards on 66 plays, an average of 1.8 yards per play.

The relentless pressure kept Stidham from finding wide receiver Kyle Davis, who has just one catch for seven yards on the season after missing Week 1's 41-7 win over Georgia Southern due to suspension.

Hunter Renfrow may not be welcomed should he try to visit the state of Alabama.

Center Austin Golson said that Clemson brought a lot of guys up front, making it hard to protect both the quarterback and the running backs. Expect Malzahn and offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey to throw more on first down than Auburn has in the past, loosen up the defense deep downfield and with intermediate passes over the middle, and then shut the door late with Pettway and the running game.

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