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Watkins prepared for season opener

Going against a tough and talented Clemson offense throughout the preseason has Clemson defensive tackle Carlos Watkins confident in what the defense will bring to the table come Saturday as the second-ranked Tigers visit Auburn to kick off the season.

“Going against our offense is like no other. I feel like we have the best offense in the country. It’s the wide receivers, running back, O-line, so we all definitely got a good look for Auburn,” Watkins said.

Knowing Auburn is not exactly going to be a cake walk, Clemson’s All-ACC defensive tackle said they have been preparing for whatever the Auburn offense decides to throw at them.

“I don’t want to say they trick you, but they give a lot of different formations and do a lot of motioning which is kind of tricky for our back seven,” Watkins said. “We’ve been practicing all of that and Coach (Brent) Venables is going to be giving us the right calls so we should be ready for that.”

Leading the Auburn offense is quarterback Sean White. The redshirt sophomore played in seven games last year and started six.

“He’s shifty and he’s tough. We are definitely gonna have to be ready for him,” Watkins said. “He does make plays, but we can’t take anyone lightly.”

With such high expectations for Clemson going into the 2016 season, the senior recognizes the atmosphere at Auburn is going to be another challenge for them to overcome, especially for a defense that will start and play a lot of freshmen and sophomores on Saturday night.

“Treat it like any other game. It’s funny how it works for defense,” Watkins said. “At home it’s a lot harder for us because that’s when we want our crowd to be the loudest and it’s hard for us to communicate and hear calls but away games, their crowd has to be quiet for the offense. So it’s easier for us to communicate.”

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