Auburn still loaded

CLEMSON - When Chad Morris arrived to Clemson in January, along with him came a blueprint for Auburn's hurry-up, no huddle offense.

Morris, a disciple of Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, runs the same fast-paced, smash mouth spread.

Even though the Jonathan Meeks and the rest of the ACC Tigers have seen the system at every practice since the spring, he suspects the pace will ramp up on Saturday.

"Practice doesn't simulate actually how fast it's going to be," Meeks said.

But that's not to say there hasn't been a benefit.

"Practicing against coach Morris and Tajh [Boyd] throughout spring and camp helps us get ready for a game like this," Meeks said.

Clemson's first taste of the system came in the third game last season, which Auburn won in overtime, 27-24.

Malzahn's Tigers rushed for 221 yards and threw for 203. Of their 61 plays, Auburn averaged 7 yards per gain.

Meeks didn't log a snap, but he knows there's an all too important aspect in defending against those Tigers.

"Stick with your assignments and don't got along with all the window dressing they've got going on," he said.

Corico Hawkins, who had two tackles and a sack in 58 snaps against Auburn, called round two "another opportunity."

"Everybody in the country knows we had them on the ropes last year at their place...early in the year," he said. "It's early again and we've got a chance and we've got to try to compete the way we did last year."

Auburn, the defending national champions and 19th ranked team in the country, features a "smash and dash" running back combination of Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb.

Dyer, the smash, leads the team in carries [32] yards rushing [207] and rushing touchdowns [four]. McCalebb has dashed to 112 yards on 20 carries.

"Both those guys are great running backs," Hawkins said. "They're both going to come in here and try to get what they can on the ground. We've just got to do a great job of tackling and using our legs to get them on the ground."

One key ingredient is missing from the Auburn offense -- Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who was the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Meeks said there are still plenty of explosive players remaining at the skill positions for Auburn.

"They've still got a lot of good players without Cam Newton, a lot of five stars," he said. "They do it there the way we do here, so they'll be ready." Top Stories