Clemson sacked Stidham 11 times, recorded 14 tackles for loss and generally made gaining positive yards by air or by land a more hard task for the former five-star recruit than Auburn coaches ever thought it would be when they landed him on the transfer market a year ago.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn would not address the specifics of the injury to Pettway, who was not available for interviews. "They kept us in the game".
We are more optimistic on Clemson's chances than some of the metrics. We'll get better offensively and we'll get this thing corrected. We've got to be able to play-action pass. Really, all three levels of the defense played well. "It was a disappointing loss". Carlson extends his school record to 371 career points. He finished the night with 74 yards on 22 carries. Ryan Davis added 23 yards and a touchdown in two receptions. "It's easy for everybody to say 'the d-line this, the d-line that, ' but the secondary - they were balling back there in the back seven", said Clemson defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.
The reigning national champions showed why are they are a threat to win it all once again in 2017. "They deserve a lot of the credit tonight".
Kelly's play after the injury wasn't just a good response. "It starts with me, because I'm the one person who has the ball in my hands every play". "(Auburn) was definitely a good test and I thought the (defensive backs) overall handled it very well". Clemson averaged almost 40 points and more than 500 yards a game on the way to its first national title in 35 years.
In the third quarter, Marlon Davidson caused a fumble, with Tray Matthews recovering, to give the Tigers an opportunity to close the gap. That first drive of the second half - for 79 yards - was more like what coach Dabo Swinney expected from that group.
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Clemson's defense repeatedly stiffened in the red zone, holding Auburn to zero yards on six plays inside the 10-yard line in the first half and forcing field goals in both instances.
I can't guarantee this, but if Auburn struggles offensively in its first three SEC games at Missouri and at home against Mississippi State or Ole Miss, Malzahn will be calling plays October 14 at LSU. It struck for points on two of its three drives at Memorial Stadium to take an early 6-0 lead.
The Tigers' young offense under a first-year starting quarterback didn't look like the team that dominated Kent State in the 56-3 opener. Defensively, Clemson football yields 3.0 points and 120.0 total yards, 1.0 in passing and 119.0 in rushing.
Kelly Bryant, given the unenviable task of replacing Deshaun Watson as Clemson's quarterback this season, lay on the field after being driven into the turf by Auburn defensive lineman Dontavius Russell - all 310 pounds of him.
"The next goal for us is to win the division, and we've got to load up and head to Louisville in a huge game for us against a team that's in our division", Swinney said.