Originally written on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 11/20/14

I knew going in that this game was going to be close. In my SEC predictions I picked Clemson 24-16 because I thought Auburn would have a difficult time finding the end zone with their young quarterback.

The only touchdown Auburn had was a 54 yard bomb that Kiehl Frazier hit to a wide open Emory Blake. That play put Auburn up 7-3 late in the first quarter but it would be the only touchdown that Auburn would get all game. Overall, Auburn gained about 40 more yards than their season average from last year but they struggled to finish drives. Statistically Tre Mason and Onterio McCalebb had good games (106 yds and 7.6 ypc for Mason and 82 yds and 6.8 ypc for McCalebb) but they weren't factors when the game was on the line. When it came down to it, Auburn was just 4-13 on third downs and allowed Clemson to go 8-17. In the second half, Auburn scored on three straight drives but because they couldn't finish the drives they only came away with nine points on three field goals.

Kiehl Frazier showed flashes but he just wasn't ready to win a game like this at this stage in his young career. The final drive kind of summed that up. Frazier started off with a good throw and completion over the middle to Blake but followed that up with a fumble. Auburn recovered but then Frazier threw an incompletion and then he took a horrible sack on 3rd and eight and after that the clock ran down and Frazier ended the game with a long incompletion that was thrown out of bounds. Frazier threw just 12 passes last year and he needs more time to develop into a competent college quarterback. 

There has been a lot of talk this off-season about Auburn's defense improving based on the hire of Brian Van Gorder and because of Auburn's top notch recruiting the last few years. Much like Frazier, there were flashes but Auburn's defense is not quite ready for prime time. Ultimately, it was depth that killed the Auburn defense as Clemson pounded them in the second half with three drives of ten or more plays that totaled 66 or more yards and all of those drives ended with points being put on the scoreboard. 

The Auburn defense ended up giving up 528 total yards, 47% third down conversions and an eye-popping 320 yards rushing to a Sammy Watkins-less Clemson team. In the final quarter it came down to making stops and Auburn was just too tired. Andre Ellington was a big key for Clemson as he finished with 228 yards and 9.1 ypc.

Clemson moves forward with two mid-major opponents before they travel to Tallahassee. Auburn has a much more difficult task next as they must travel to Starville to play Dan Mullen and the Bulldogs of Mississippi State.

[follow]

MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Rajon Rondo reportedly traded to Mavericks

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer on Tim Tebow: 'He wants another shot at playing'

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Harbaugh turned down Michigan money in 2011

Why the Saints pose a legit threat to any playoff team

Matt Kemp reportedly has arthritis in both hips

Eagles fan posts on Craigslist seeking help for team

Michael Vick has almost paid off all his massive debt

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

Tom Brady's TD celebrations frighten teammates

The impact of normalized U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Dwight Howard kicks Nuggets mascot Rocky

Report: Bears in disbelief over Cutler benching

Is Titans-Jaguars the worst prime-time game this century?

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Four can't-miss match-ups in NFL's Week 16

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.