Clemson Tigers (0-0) at Auburn Tigers (0-0)
|Date & Time||Saturday September 3, 2016, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Auburn Tigers +7.5 -- Over/Under: 63
We’ve got a great NCAA football matchup headed our way on Saturday, September 3 as the Clemson Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
Clemson is coming off a 14-1 season, going undefeated and capturing the ACC Championship en route to an Orange Bowl appearance (and defeat against Alabama).
As for Auburn, they finished 7-6 and won just two games against division opponents. That said, Auburn was able to win the Birmingham Bowl 31-10 against Memphis.
Clemson’s high-powered offense is led by junior Deshaun Watson at QB. In 2015, Watson threw for 4109 yards with 35 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Watson had a great completion percentage of 67.8 for the year, and also added 1105 rush yards for good measure. Junior top rusher Wayne Gallman returns here as well. Last season, Gallman put up 1514 rush yards with 13 scores on 282 attempts.
Over on the defensive side of the ball, Clemson doesn’t slouch either. Ben Boulware returns to the field following an 81-tackle season, third-highest on the squad. As a team, the Clemson defense held opponents to just 187.7 yards passing and 125.7 yards rushing on average last year.
Auburn isn’t quite the offensive powerhouse that Clemson is, but they’ve got some key names on their depth chart who should put together solid seasons. John Franklin is expected to step into the starting quarterback role, taking over for Jeremy Johnson. Johnson threw for 1053 yards last season and posted a 10/7 TD to interception ratio. Sophomore Chandler Cox is a new face in the starting lineup as well; he’ll take over for Peyton Barber, who rushed for 1016 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
On the defensive side, Auburn has quite a bit of turnover from last year. Tre Williams is a guy to watch as the strong side linebacker. Williams is coming off 55 tackles last year and will be relied on as a top contributor in 2016. As a unit, Auburn allowed 209.8 passing yards per game and 164.2 rush yards per game last season.
Clemson is 6-1 ATS in their last seven September games, and 6-2 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. Clemson is also 2-6 ATS in their last eight road games.
Meanwhile, Auburn is 3-8 ATS in their last 11 against the ACC, and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games overall. Auburn is also 1-8 ATS in their last nine non-conference games, and 1-10 ATS in their last 11 home games.
There’s no need to overthink this. Clemson comes in as a national title contender, and they should roll here.