AUBURN, Ala. — Greg Huegel kicked a 30-yard field goal with seven seconds left in the first half to give second-ranked Clemson a 10-3 lead at the break.
Huegel’s kick capped an 8-play, 64-yard drive which was kept alive by an Auburn pass interference penalty on third-and-six from the Clemson 27. Javaris Davis was called for the infraction on a pass thrown to wide receiver Mike Williams.
Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson and Mike Williams then connected on pass plays of 18 and 22 yards to move the Tigers to the Auburn 18.
After Auburn’s Daniel Carlson drilled a 53-yard field goal to give Auburn a 3-0 lead with 12:58 to play in the opening half, Clemson answered with a 14-play, 84-yard drive that took 5:16 off the clock.
Gallman’s touchdown run came on fourth-and-goal with 7:34 to play. The Tigers ran a power play to the right with defensive tackle’s Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence leading the way for Gallman.
Clemson was awarded first-and-goal at the seven after Auburn’s Jonathan Ford was called for holding tight end Jordan Leggett on third-and-11 from the 14. Gallman scored four plays later.
After going the entire first quarter without targeting Williams, Watson found the junior three times for 51 yards on the drive, including a 26-yard pass on second-and-nine from the Clemson 26 to the Auburn 48.
Carlson capped a 12-play 44-yard drive prior to Clemson’s touchdown. Quarterback Jeremy Johnson came on to lead the SEC Tigers, as he twice converted on third-and-long plays to keep the drive alive. He then found Marcus Davis for an 18-yard completion over the middle to the Clemson 40.
Clemson’s defense suffocated Auburn in the first half. The Tigers held Auburn to 38 total yards and 3 first downs. while Wilkins and Lawrence each had a sack in the opening half.
Auburn rushed for one yard on 16 carries in the first 30 minutes.
Clemson and Watson came out of the gates slow, but they got rolling in the second quarter. Watson finished the opening half completing 11 of 19 passes for 148 yards. Gallman had 59 yards rushing on 16 carries to go with his touchdown, while Williams had six catches for 106 yards. All of Williams catches and yards came in the second half.
Clemson finished the first half with 233 yards, including 85 on the ground, but was 2-for-8 on third downs.