ACC: Tigers-Tigers-091810

Video: Swinney pumped up over big win

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
5:56
PM ET


Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is excited after his Tigers snapped No. 21 Auburn's 17 game win-streak.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn quarterback Cam Newton stood before his team in the locker room at halftime, and delivered an important message: No more slacking, and no more lack of focus. Time was running out.

At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, when Newton speaks, he tends to hold a captive audience.

“Cam being a leader really showed character by saying, ‘Hey, this is what we need to do,’ and he actually went out there and did it,” said freshman running back Michael Dyer. “There was a time when he stood in the pocket and took a shot and threw a touchdown pass. Most quarterbacks probably couldn’t do that or handle the pressure. He really went out there and showed what he meant by that.”

[+] EnlargeClemson Dejection
AP Photo/Dave MartinClemson kicker Clarence Catanzaro (39) reacts after missing a field goal in overtime against Auburn.
Auburn’s inspired second half led to a 27-24 overtime win against Clemson -- a dramatic win that was sealed when Clemson was penalized for an illegal snap on what would have been the game-tying field goal. Instead of a second overtime, Clemson’s points were taken off the board, and kicker Chandler Catanzaro’s next try went wide left. It was a physical game and gutsy performance by both teams -- one that they’ll both take some confidence from moving forward.

“I think we’ve got a chance to be a good football team, I really do,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “I think we’ve got the ingredients. I thought that coming into this game. I wasn’t really sure how they would respond. We didn’t play a perfect game, we made some mistakes, but they fought hard, played with some toughness and showed poise at some critical times.”

Despite the loss, it was one of the more respectable performances by an ACC team this month -- save for the third quarter. Auburn outgained Clemson 258-46 in the third quarter after totaling 116 in the first half and eight in the first quarter. Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof said Clemson came out in the first half using some different formations and plays than he had seen in any of the game film they studied from last year.

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn also made some adjustments, and Auburn coach Gene Chizik said there was “nothing but chalk flying at halftime on a bunch of adjustments.”

“Anytime you win a game like this, the way you do it, it really carries over,” Malzahn said. “I think we were down 17-0 and playing very bad football on offense. It was good to see our guys come back and put some points on the board to win the game.”

Newton completed seven passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, including a 78-yard pass to Terrell Zachery in the third quarter to give Auburn its first lead at 24-17.

“We just started executing our plays and everything started slowing down,” Newton said. “Everybody started to realize that we can’t wait until the next time. We had some guys that stood up and started making some big plays.”

Including the defense. Auburn’s opponents are 0-for-7 on third-down conversions in the fourth quarter this year.

“We came into the locker room at halftime and told each other that we were not going to quit,” safety Zac Ethridge said. “We just kept on fighting. It really showed the character of our team.”

Auburn earned the win, but Clemson definitely earned some respect. The Tigers entered Jordan-Hare Stadium untested and unranked after wins over unheralded opponents North Texas and Presbyterian, but made a statement early by controlling the clock for 19:23 in the first half to Auburn’s 10:37. Clemson also proved it could survive offensively with a new cast of characters and without the production of former running back C.J. Spiller.

“There’s a lot of pain, a lot of hurt in that room right now,” Swinney said. “Guys worked really hard. They fought really hard to win this game. This is a team we’re going to be playing for a couple more years. We learned a lot about them, they learned a lot about us. I wish them well but we have to go back to work. All of our goals on our board are still there. Anytime you lose a game in overtime -- especially on the road when you’ve got a chance to win -- it’s a painful thing, but there’s nothing final or fatal unless you let it be that way.”

Final: Auburn 27, Clemson 24

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
10:55
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- It came down to an illegal snap in overtime, a penalty that led to a missed field goal and gave Auburn the 27-24 win. Jordan-Hare Stadium erupted. It was a great effort by Clemson. I'm heading down to the locker rooms. Check back later.

video

Anyone's game

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
10:27
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- It's tied at 24 and anyone's game here with about five minutes remaining.

Clemson's defense has been making some good stops, but Auburn's running backs have also been able to rip off some long runs. You know what it comes down to in games like this -- defense and whoever makes the fewest mistakes. Regardless of who wins, it's been a great game here at Jordan Hare Stadium.

Big plays add up for Auburn

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
9:51
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- If Clemson is going to get back in this game, it has to get back to its strategy in the first half of running the ball and controlling the clock. Because when Auburn's offense is working, it doesn't need much time to score.

Auburn took the 24-17 lead in just 38 seconds, thanks to a 78-yard touchdown pass. Those are the kinds of plays Auburn fans were waiting for. Entering this game, Auburn had eight plays of at least 35 yards, including five that resulted in a touchdown. Clemson's D can't afford to give up any more of those.

Auburn in control

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
9:43
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- You could probably hear the Auburn fans in Georgia right now. Everything is going the Tigers' way after a 72-yard touchdown drive that tied the game at 17. It's an entirely different half, as Clemson hasn't been able to slow down Auburn's running game, and Auburn's defense has been putting the pressure on Kyle Parker.

Clemson needs a touchdown drive or a big play on defense to get the momentum back.

Momentum swing for Auburn

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
9:27
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn has made this a game in the second half, thanks to quarterback Cam Newton. He accounted for 47 yards in a 61-yard scoring drive, including a 34-yard pass to Darvin Adams. Auburn now trails, 17-10, with about eight minutes left in the third quarter.

That's the Newton we saw in the first two games of the season -- the one who can run. The crowd here is deafening again. Jordan Hare Stadium -- and Auburn's offense -- woke up.

Telling stats from first half

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
9:14
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- Clemson held the ball for 19:23 in the first half. It had the ball for 18:08 the entire game against North Texas in the season opener. Time of possession has been a huge factor in this game. Great job by Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier.

One more ... Clemson had four third-down conversions in the first half. The Tigers had just four in the first two games combined entering tonight.

Halftime: Clemson 17, Auburn 3

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
8:48
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- Here's a quick halftime breakdown:

Turning point: Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Jamie Harper, who made a spectacular diving catch for the 17-0 lead. Clemson had been controlling the game to that point, but that play seemed to really put some distance between the teams on the scoreboard.

Stat of the half: 37. That's how many rushing yards Auburn quarterback Cam Newton had. He entered the game ranked second in the conference and 16th in the nation with 120.5 rushing yards per game.

Best player in the half: Clemson's Parker. He's completed 16 of 24 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He's been particularly good on third downs and has done a great job of helping the Tigers sustain drives and control the clock.

Clemson carrying ACC banner

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
8:38
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- Unranked Clemson is carrying the ACC banner -- rather tall and pround, I might add. I just saw one of the most impressive, highlight-reel catches of the season, as Jamie Harper made a diving 24-yard touchdown catch to give Clemson the 17-0 lead. Clemson is playing well in every phase of the game.

Auburn was averaging 34.5 points coming into this game and has yet to reach the end zone with 1:05 left in the half. This is exactly the kind of nationally televised performance the ACC needed. We'll see if Clemson can keep it up in the second half.

Still waiting for Auburn's offense

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
8:27
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- The crowd is great. The student section one of the most passionate I've seen. Stadium is packed.

But the actual team? Auburn? It's getting beat by an unranked Clemson team. At home.

Clemson is looking good in the process, on both sides of the ball. Just when Auburn seemed to be playing as billed, it was hit with a costly holding penalty on its last drive. Cam Newton is big, but he hasn't made enough big plays. Clemson has 206 yards to Auburn's 66. Part of the problem for Auburn is that Clemson is just killing the clock. The defense needs to make some stops to give its offense a chance, but Newton and Co. need to sustain some drives, too.

Clemson making use of tight end

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
8:09
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- I couldn't tell you who Clemson's go-to receiver is. I don't think coach Dabo Swinney could, either. There's been too much inconsistency and they're spreading the ball around.

But the Tigers are making great use of tight end Dwayne Allen in this game. He already has four catches for 50 yards and is averaging at least a first down with each catch. It seems like Auburn's defense is starting to get more of a push, and the blitz just ruined the Tigers' last drive, which ended in a field goal for the 10-0 lead. Clemson's offense continues to have the upper hand, though, and Allen has certainly helped that cause.

Clemson controlling the clock

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
7:46
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- Clemson's offense is grinding it out, and the running game is opening up things in the passing game -- like a 14-yard pass to tight end Dwayne Allen. Clemson has owned the time of possession in the first quarter 11:49 to 2:11. That's impressive, considering how Auburn was expected by some to dictate the pace of this game. Of Auburn's 11 scoring drives this season, all six touchdowns have taken less than two minutes. Auburn is capable of big plays, but not if the offense isn't on the field.

Big day for Da'Quan Bowers

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
7:35
PM ET
AUBURN, Ala. -- Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers has already had a big day, with two tackles for losses. One came on third down on Auburn's first drive and he just had another on Auburn's second drive. That's the kind of pressure Clemson's defense needs in this game. Cam Newton gets a lot of attention, but Auburn has a good stable of running backs as well. So far Clemson's defense has kept them all in check.
AUBURN, Ala. -- Clemson scored on its first drive, proving that a) it can run the ball against this Auburn defense, b) it's not intimidated in the least by this sold-out crowd, and c) it can score without C.J. Spiller against a ranked opponent, not just North Texas and Presbyterian.

Andre Ellington and Jamie Harper call themselves the "New Storm," and want to be the next great duo of running backs at Clemson, and they shouldered the offense on that drive for the 7-0 lead.

Of course, Clemson has to sustain that for four quarters, and we haven't yet seen what the defense can do against Cam Newton, but that's an encouraging start for the Clemson Tigers.

SPONSORED HEADLINES