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Sep
04
2016

Clemson doesn’t have to apologize for sloppy win at Auburn.

deshaun-watson-starter

Let the questions begin. What is wrong with Clemson? Is Deshaun Watson ok? What happened to the offense? Well nothing really. Auburn is pretty tough at home. Their worst loss at home in the last 3 years was a 16 point defeat to Alabama last year. Every other loss was single digits. Clemson led Auburn 19-6 late in the 4th quarter.

They ended up winning 19-13. That sounds about right. Auburn has an NFL caliber defensive front, and Clemson still ran for 151 yards and had nearly 400 total. It was a game Clemson statistically dominated out-gaining Auburn in total yards 399 to 262.

When LSU and Oklahoma both ranked in the top 5 lose, you don’t have to hit the panic button for Clemson.

At no point during the game did I think Clemson could lose. Well actually when Dabo Swinney inexplicably didn’t attempt a FG with under a minute left, and Auburn got the ball back, I thought something fluky could happen. I suppose he was concerned the kick could get returned? Also Wayne Gallman not getting out of bounds provided some nervous moments, but Clemson prevailed.

Now that doesn’t mean Clemson doesn’t have some issues. The Tigers 3rd conversion rate was poor only 6 of 17, and most were of the manageable nature – 5 yards or less. The play-calling and Deshaun Watson in turn seemed a little tentative. The good news is Watson is too talented, and Clemson has too much offensive ability to go in a year long funk.

The defense looks every bit as good as  last year. Dexter Lawrence already as a true freshman D-Lineman has off the charts raw ability. Auburn is offensively challenged, but their O-Line is solid, and the Tigers controlled the line of scrimmage.

Clemson now gets two games against Troy and SC State to sort some of the offensive issues out. Was it pretty? Nope, but a win is a win, and that is what Clemson got in a dangerous locale.

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