Missed opportunity

AUBURN, Ala. - Dwayne Allen is rarely one to mince words. Following Saturday's 27-24 loss to No. 15 Auburn, he was the first Clemson player to sit down for interviews.

Allen, who tied for a game-high with five catches, told reporters that he recognized the opportunity Clemson had to make a statement before a national audience on Saturday night.

"Coming into this game, I knew we were the underdog and I felt the first half would show the conference and other conferences that that this is Clemson football," he said.

From the looks of the first half, Clemson was on the way to the third win of the season. The Tigers led 17-3 at halftime with 267 yards to the host's 116 and nearly nine more minutes of possession time.

But Auburn responded with three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter before an ACC Tiger touchdown tied the game early in the fourth and forced overtime.

On Clemson's final drive in regulation, Allen nearly grabbed his sixth catch in front of the Auburn sideline. At the very minimum, Clemson would have been in field goal range.

Allen was thinking six points.

"The only person that could make this play is the back-side safety. And I was thinking, if I catch this ball, I'm cutting it back and it's game," he said.

Instead, the ball fell harmlessly to the turf in front of his outstretched hands. Clemson punted and the Tigers went to overtime.

The game should have never been placed on the shoulders of a redshirt freshman kicker before almost 90,000 fans in overtime. Allen said Clemson should have been six points on the board, not an attempt for three.

"We should never have to settle for a field goal with the backs and offensive line that we have," he said.

But Allen said he still believes in Chandler Catanzaro, who pushed the 31-yard, overtime field goal wide-left.

"I have nothing but faith and belief in all 115 guys on this team. All 74 that travel with us, I believe in them. I thought we were going to pull it out," Allen said. "We just came up short."

He believed that everyone was accountable for Saturday night's loss at Jordan-Hare Stadium. And Allen didn't have to look too far to find someone who didn't make a mistake.

"I probably had two or three [missed assignments]. Other players probably had some," he said. "You win and you lose as a team. That's why they pay the coaches to coach. We have to get the plays we missed corrected so that the next time we're in that situation, we will come out on top."


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