Clemson Presents Challenges For Auburn

Auburn coach Gene Chizik talks about facing the Clemson Tigers on Saturday night and about ESPN GameDay coming to the Plains.

Auburn, Ala.--With two days off to lick their wounds following a tough battle at Mississippi State, the Auburn Tigers began working on Clemson Sunday as ESPN Gameday comes to town for Saturday night's nationally televised showdown. Chizik said looking at Clemson one things stands out right away as Auburn starts prep work for Coach Dabo Swinney's club.

"The first thing that stands out is that they are very talented football team," Chizik said. "They are very well coached. If you look at the progress they made at the end of last year going into the championship game and looking at the first two games this year it's very evident it's a very physical football team. They are very physical on both sides of the ball and very talented. I think it's going to be a great, great challenge for us."

Clemson enters Saturday night having scored 93 points in two games against outmanned opponents North Texas and Presbyterian. While the opposition hasn't been a challenge, Chizik said he's seen all he needs to know about the skill players and offense for the Tigers.

"Offensively, it starts with Kyle Parker," Chizik said. "Obviously, he's a great quarterback. He's got some running backs to go to. I think all four of his top running backs statistically are averaging over 7 yards per carry. That's a concern.

"That stems from an offensive line that is physical and comes off the ball. He's got some receivers he spreads the wealth to. All of them are talented and he's got some fast guys out there. That's problematic for any defense."

In two games this season Parker has completed 15-26 passes for 283 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. As a team Clemson has rushed for 458 yards and six touchdowns with Andre Ellington leading the way with 133 yards and three touchdowns.

Jamie Harper has 110 yards and a score on just 12 carries this season for Clemson.

Saturday will also bring back ESPN to Auburn's campus and GameDay. Chizik said while it won't have an impact directly on the team, he's happy for everything it means to the program and the Auburn fans.

"Just for our fan base and for Auburn football I think it's great," Chizik said. "It's really exciting. I'm happy for our kids because we've earned it. I want it to be exciting for our fans because they deserve it. It will be a neat time for us at Auburn."

Saturday's game will be the 47th all-time meeting between Auburn and Clemson, but the first in the regular season since 1971. Auburn leads the all-time series 33-11-2 and has won 13 consecutive games against Clemson. It will be the 11th time that Auburn has played in the on-site game for ESPN's GameDay with the Tigers 5-5 overall and 3-2 in home games.

GameDay will air from 8-9 a.m. CDT on ESPNU before moving to ESPN from 9-11 a.m.. The on-campus site has not been chosen yet on the Auburn campus.

Auburn-Clemson By The Numbers: NCAA Stats

Rushing Offense: Auburn 278.50 (9), Clemson 229 (24)

Passing Offense: Auburn 199.50 (69), Clemson 189 (79)

Total Offense: Auburn 478 (20), Clemson 418 (47)

Scoring Offense: Auburn 34.50 (37), Clemson 46.50 (12)

Rushing Defense: Auburn 80 (17), Clemson 166.50 (85)

Passing Defense: Auburn 226 (73), Clemson 204 (63)

Total Defense: Auburn 306 (44), Clemson 370.50 (76)

Scoring Defense: Auburn 20 (56), Clemson 15.50 (33)

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