Originally posted on College Football Zealots  |  Last updated 9/1/12

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]

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Report: Clippers concerned about Chris Paul leaving to sign with Spurs

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker