Well, I was correct about a few things as I broke down the matchup of Tigers vs. Tigers. I expected a low scoring affair, and that is certainly what we got. I also mentioned that one of the main keys to the game would be how the Auburn offensive line would fair against the Clemson front seven.
To some up the latter, Auburn didn’t fair worth a damn offensively, clearly having major issues up front. Those of you who watched the game certainly saw what I feel. Clemson has the best front seven in the nation. Obviously that is my opinion, but one will have a hard time convincing me otherwise. Clemson is relentless. The Tigers have great skill on the edge, interior tackles that are difficult to move, and last but certainly not least, the Tigers can fly at the linebacker spots. Brent Venables does a fantastic job with scheme as well.
Auburn quarterback Jarrett Stidham was under stifling pressure. Stidham had zero time in the pocket, and was running for his life all night. The left side of the offensive line struggled mightily.
War Eagle fans are frustrated, and rightfully so, but this is more of a talent issue than anything schematic, from my perspective. Auburn simply doesn’t have the offensive tackles, presently, to have consistent success against the talent that Clemson has on the defensive front. While it didn’t help, early in the game, that the Auburn offense had to settle for two field goals, but beyond that, they couldn’t muster enough consistency in the run game to help out the porous pass pro. In other words, War Eagle was dominated on offense.
For as bad as things were offensively for Auburn, the War Eagle defense was outstanding. In their own right, Auburn is very good and deep up front as well. Coach Kevin Steele and his defensive unit will keep Auburn in every game.
With that, I still see this Auburn team having a lot of success. Auburn simply ran into a buzz saw. The game was just a one score separation deep into the fourth quarter; but Auburn, offensively, was absolutely abysmal in the second half.
Clemson is an outstanding football team and will do just enough offensively to have a chance at back to back national championships.