|Tuesday, September 6, 2016 10:18 AM- -|
We had a great trip to Auburn this weekend. The Auburn fan base was very hospitable, and the campus was as nice as I remember it from my other trips to the Plains. This trip was different in that their fans are skeptical about the program now. A few made comments about their arrests recently, and they doubted the staff's ability to compete. They booed several times when the offense screwed up. And the noise was nowhere near as loud as it was in 2010. Clemson did not play well and has a lot to clean up, but an opening road win is never taken for granted. It was a crazy opening weekend in college football, and the Tigers were the only top 25 team to have a true road win. The defense held Auburn to 87 yards rushing by dominating the line of scrimmage. Dexter Lawrence was a beast. Christian Wilkins played defensive end like he had been there all of his life. Clelin Ferrell was as good as advertised. Carlos Watkins had to impress NFL scouts. The Tigers had 14 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
We had a great trip to Auburn this weekend. The Auburn fan base was very hospitable, and the campus was as nice as I remember it from my other trips to the Plains.
This trip was different in that their fans are skeptical about the program now. A few made comments about their arrests recently, and they doubted the staff's ability to compete. They booed several times when the offense screwed up. And the noise was nowhere near as loud as it was in 2010.
Clemson did not play well and has a lot to clean up, but an opening road win is never taken for granted. It was a crazy opening weekend in college football, and the Tigers were the only top 25 team to have a true road win.
The defense held Auburn to 87 yards rushing by dominating the line of scrimmage. Dexter Lawrence was a beast. Christian Wilkins played defensive end like he had been there all of his life. Clelin Ferrell was as good as advertised. Carlos Watkins had to impress NFL scouts. The Tigers had 14 tackles for a loss and four sacks.
I thought the linebackers tackled well. Ben Boulware had one boneheaded penalty, but his interception at the goal line was a big key to the win. I thought Kendall Joseph was active and instinctive. He found the football all night. You can tell Brent Venables trusts Jalen Williams in several roles too.
The secondary played well with the exception of a couple of blown coverages. Cordrea Tankersley picked up right where he left off. He was physical and made a couple of nice plays to spark the rest of the secondary. Van Smith was active and didn't look to blow any coverages. Jadar Johnson had two busts, but his interception and two batted down Hail Marys sealed the win. I thought all of the corners played winning ball.
Auburn is limited at several offensive positions, but Clemson did hold them to 262 yards and just 3-17 on third down.
Another highlight was how well Clemson defended Auburn's tricks. Gus Malzahn's substitutions are a bear to deal with, but Clemson responded well and never got caught off guard. Auburn even tried the old Pop Warner single wing look with four backs lined up between the tackles and tried misdirection off of that package, but to no avail.
Offensively the news wasn't quite as positive. There were some positives, though. Deshaun Watson did not play his best game but was on point with the back shoulder throw to Mike Williams. Watson was 19 of 34 for 248 yards with a touchdown and a pick. He was limited in the run game to just 21 yards on 11 carries.
Williams returned to the field with a great night with nine catches for 174 yards, but did have three touchdowns in his hands and came away with none and he did have a key fumble.
Wayne Gallman had a solid night with 124 yards rushing and a score. The best thing we saw from Gallman was his pass pro. The only negative we saw here was his running out of bounds twice on the last drive.
Artavis Scott had three catches for 30 yards, and Hunter Renfrow added three for 27 including a terrific touchdown grab. Jordan Leggett was flagged for a false start and was not a factor in the passing game, but did throw a great seal block on Gallman's touchdown.
The negatives in the wideout group were Deon Cain's alligator arms that almost caused an early interception and Ray Ray McCloud's route on Watson's lone interception. I was surprised Clemson's receivers could not separate more from Auburn's secondary, but the replay did show their defensive backs often had a hand full of jerseys down field.
The offensive line didn't dominate but give Auburn credit. Auburn's front seven is talented and played well with an aggressive scheme. Perhaps the best news there was the O-line did not allow a sack.
Like the offense, the special teams were a mixed bag. Seth Ryan had a great hold after a high snap on one of Greg Huegel's two field goals. Huegel continued to struggle with a missed PAT and pulled his first kickoff out of bounds. Andy Teasdall punted well averaging 41.5 yards per punt. The coverage teams were better, but the kickoff return teams had only one return for 16 yards.
The controversial decision to go for it by Dabo on the final drive is understandable, but I disagreed with the call. I would also point out that if you are going to go for it on fourth and four, then call a time out and spread the field and maybe throw the ball in that situation.
Like many openers, Clemson can take some positives and negatives. They won the turnover battle 3-2 and were the less penalized team Saturday night. At the same time, the offense was not clicking and missed several chances to put the game away.
In summary, I am very encouraged by the defense, but I also realize how limited Auburn is on offense. I am concerned by the offense, but also give Auburn credit for playing well and being very talented on defense. And the special teams still have work to do.
Leaving the stadium Saturday night I got a text from a friend that said this game looked exactly like the Louisville game last year. I could not agree more. The offense looked conservative and out of sync at times and the defense took advantage of the opponent's offensive issues.
The best news is Clemson came away with a road win at an SEC school at night and came away very healthy. Now the Tigers come home for the first time after five straight games away from Death Valley. There is work to be done, but the next two opponents should allow some of that work to take place.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
|src="https://2cic.nyc3.cdn.digitaloceanspaces.com/t/ads/plyler/allstate_logo.gif" border=0> border=0>|
The prayer list is a medium for our community to recognize those that are in need. If you would like to add someone to the list, please email me at [email protected] Please let me know when it is appropriate to remove a person off the list.
Those who need our prayers include: Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon Thompson, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders, Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Jonathan and Jacki Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack Cunningham, Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon Kirkland and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Wessinger family, the Parsons family, Todd Price and family, Rosemary A Flynn, Dr. Mickey Shealy family, Mr. Gillespie, Bobbi Nicholson, Dr. Matt Stower, Tyler Kemmerlin, Parks Hutto, Patrick DeStefano, Robert Summerville, Michelle Richey, Julie Moore, Ashley Fitch, Drew Moyer, Kevin Anderson, Lyn Price, John Robert Smith, Allison Williams, Nicholas Wickiser, Lena Wright, Elizabeth Bruner, Hammond Family, Elaine G. Duvall, Addison Grace, Bennie Cunningham, Kevin Orcutt, Alan Finley, Keith Wells, Steve Byrd, Jessica Hernandez, Wayne Mullins, Rita Alexander, Tony Osterman, family and friends of Gary Cooper, Mary Carmen Harman, Derk Denton, Tim Vacek, Mike Vacek, Jerry Brown, Phil Compton, Alma Jean Sullivan, Lindsey Motley, Riley Cook, Dwayne Wood, Eileen Thomas, Larry Nimmons and Family, Chrissy Adams, Annie Gregory, Amy Black, Will Black, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.