Defense keeps Clemson 2-0, with 14-6 victory over Auburn

Greg McElroy: Auburn WRs must bounce back from 'very disappointing' Week 1 for Tigers to beat Clemson

Memorial Stadium will be host to one of the biggest games of the nonconference season on Saturday night when the No. 3 Clemson Tigers take on the No. 13 Auburn Tigers.

Despite being outplayed for the majority of the first half, Clemson took a 7-6 lead into the locker room thanks to an impressive drive by quarterback Kelly Bryant and the offense late in the second quarter. He made enough plays to keep Auburn's offense off the field.

"This was a very disappointing loss", Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said.

Clemson scored a playoff-case-boosting nonconference win over an SEC team in which it allowed just six points, and it will continue its pursuit of a third straight playoff bid with a road trip to Louisville next week, where its defensive line will be faced with Heisman victor Lamar Jackson ... but also a vulnerable Cardinals offensive line.

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.

Auburn was well aware of the pass protection issues it had to address after allowing eight tackles for loss with three sacks in its win over Georgia Southern last week.

O'Daniel finished with a career-high 14 tackles, while Bryant had four sacks and Wilkins had two.

Greg McElroy: Auburn WRs must bounce back from 'very disappointing' Week 1 for Tigers to beat Clemson
Auburn vs Clemson football: tv channel, start time, odds, preview, live coverage

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. He ran for a three-yard touchdown to put his team up 7-6.

Malzahn, who said this offseason he was retiring his clipboard in favor of new offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey, was seen with the laminated play sheet in his hand as Auburn (1-1) struggled to get any offensive momentum in the second half.

Auburn's defense did more than hold their own, keeping Clemson under 300 total yards themselves.

"To come right back out in the third quarter and go right back down the field, that really was the difference in the game", Swinney said. Clemson sacked Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham 11 times, one off the Clemson school record of 12 sacks. "We got in a rhythm and got some tempo going". "We're going to regroup and we're going to be a lot better".

Ray-Ray McCloud: Deon Cain and Hunter Renfrow draw more attention at wide receiver, but McCloud was so solid Saturday as a pass-catcher.

NOTES: Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney is 11-6 as a player and coach against Auburn.

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