Week 1 2012 Clemson vs Auburn Predictions
The last time we saw Clemson they were getting one of the worst beatdowns in BCS history in the Orange Bowl at the hands of West Virginia. Some games just get away from you but don’t be lulled into thinking they didn’t deserve their shot to be there.
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Clemson Tigers vs Auburn Tigers
Saturday September 1
Georgia Dome – Atlanta, GA
Moneyline: Clemson -135, Auburn +115
Spread: Clemson -2.5
The Tigers beat the Hokies twice last year, two of four victories over ranked teams throughout the season. With a more experienced team coming back and a decent schedule they could make some noise again.
The Tigers offense could be even better this year than last when they averaged 33ppg. QB Tajh Boyd had a fantastic season in Chad Morris’ spread offense and some think Sammy Watkins is the best receiver in the country. They also return every back who made a carry last year including Andre Ellington who provided balance to the passing attack with nearly 1200 yards rushing. There are going to be few games where the opponent has more firepower.
This is a huge battle to open the season. Before last year Clemson had lost 14 straight to Auburn but as you can see by the number they are the favourite in this ACC vs. SEC battle. The ACC is always fighting for respect and a win Saturday by Clemson will help a lot. Especially given the way Clemson finished off last season.
After a perfect, BCS winning season in 2010 you knew Auburn was going to take a step back the following year. The 8-5 record wasn’t a shock but it was surprising how they just got rolled by the top teams on their schedule: Arkansas, LSU and Alabama. This year I am not sure there is much reason to assume they will improve much. If they lose the opener it could be a tough opening month.
Auburn still has major question marks about the QB position. Kiehl Frazier is highly touted but was used almost exclusively as a runner last year. Clint Moseley will back him up but he does not have the skills to become a dynamic playmaker. It also hurts that last year’s leading rusher, Michael Dyer, left the program in the offseason. If the Tigers do improve it will be because a defense with 9 returning starters leads the way.
The underdog is certainly capable of pulling off the upset in this one. Being in Atlanta is probably not an advantage for either side but it feels more like SEC territory, if anything. Both teams are looking to make a statement but only one can. I think the Auburn defense will play well but eventually tire because their own offense isn’t holding up their end of the bargain. The first half should be entertaining.
Spread Pick: Clemson -2.5
O/U Pick: Over
Score Prediction: Clemson 38 – Auburn 24