It’s Game Day in Death Valley where No. 3 Clemson battles No. 13 Auburn in a game with national championship implications.
Location: Memorial Stadium (Death Valley)
Kickoff: 7:05 p.m.
Announcers: Bob Griese, Steve Levy, Todd McShay
2017 Record: Clemson 1-0, Auburn 1-0
ACC/SEC Record: Clemson 0-0, Auburn 0-0
Series History: Auburn leads 34-14-2
Last Meeting: Clemson won 19-13 in 2016 at Auburn
Clemson vs. Auburn Series
•Auburn has a 34-14-2 lead in the series with Clemson, but Clemson has won
three in a row, including a 19-13 win at Auburn last year. Clemson’s win at Auburn was its first win there since 1951 and it was Clemson’s first season opening win at a school currently in the SEC since 1903.
•Auburn had won 14 straight in the series prior to Clemson’s 38-24 win in 2011 at
Clemson. Prior to that game Clemson had not beaten Auburn since 1951.
•Clemson’s modest three-game winning streak in the series has taken place at
three different venues. The Tigers won 38-24 at Clemson in 2011, by a 26-19 margin in
2012 in Atlanta, and last year at Auburn.
•If Clemson defeats Auburn on Saturday it would give Clemson its first fourgame
winning streak against an SEC team since the Tigers defeated South Carolina four in a
row from 2002-05. Clemson has not had a four-game winning streak against a current
SEC school other than South Carolina since the Tigers had a seven game winning streak against Georgia from 1900-06.
*Auburn’s last win took place at Auburn in 2010, a 27-24 overtime thriller.
Auburn won the National Championship that year with a perfect record and Clemson was the only team to send them to overtime that year.
Comeback Victories for Clemson and Auburn
Recently Getting off to a good start was not the key to victory in games between Auburn and Clemson in 2010 and 2011. In the 2010 game at Auburn, Clemson jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the second period. Auburn did not get on the scoreboard until the final play of the first half on a field goal. Auburn then won in overtime, 27-24.
In 2011, Auburn got off to a 21-7 lead in the second period before Clemson scored two touchdowns in the final five minutes of the first half to tie the score at halftime.
Clemson actually scored 38 of the last 41 points of the game to win 38-24.
Clemson and Auburn Historical Ties
•The first three coaches in Clemson football history were Auburn graduates. Walter
Riggs, Clemson’s first head coach and later University President, was Clemson’s head coach in 1896 and 1899. He was an 1893 Auburn graduate. William Williams, Clemson’s head coach in 1897, was an 1896 Auburn graduate, while John Penton, Clemson’s head coach in 1898, had graduated from Auburn in the spring of 1898.
•John Heisman was not an Auburn graduate, but he came to Clemson from Auburn.
He coached at Auburn from 1895-1899 and came to Clemson to coach the 1900-03
era. Heisman was 12-4-2 at Auburn before coming to Clemson. He was 19-3-2 as head
coach of the Tigers for those four years. He then left Clemson to become the head coach at Georgia Tech. His .833 winning percentage is the best in Clemson history.
Clemson Offense Efficient in Opener
All the talk during the preseason was about the players Clemson had lost on offense from the 2016 National Championship team. Dabo Swinney commented at the annual ACC Football Kickoff in Charlotte that all his questions were about players who weren’t at Clemson anymore (Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, etc.)
But when the media was asked to whom they wanted to speak after last Saturday’s win over Kent State, 11 of the 12 different players requested were offensive players.
Clemson had 665 yards of total offense against Kent State, most ever in a season opener and fifth most in any game in Clemson history. It was the 19th game in school history in which Clemson had at least 600 yards, but just the fourth in which Clemson had at least 300 yards passing and 300 rushing in the same game.
Dabo vs. Auburn
Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney is a 1993 graduate of the University of Alabama, so playing against Auburn is special to the Tigers mentor. He played in three games against Auburn as a student at Alabama, the games of 1990, 1991 and 1992. Alabama won all three of those games, including by a 17-0 score in 1992, the year Alabama won
the National Championship.
As a graduate assistant coach and a full-time assistant at Alabama, the Crimson Tide had a 4-4 record with Swinney on the sidelines against the Auburn Tigers. That includes a 28-17 victory in 1999.
Swinney has coached against Auburn five times since he has been at Clemson, an overtime loss to Auburn in the Chick –Fil-A Bowl that ended the 2007 season as an assistant, then the four games as head coach since 2010. Clemson has won three of those four. The 2011 Clemson win at Clemson ended Auburn’s 17-game winning streak and
came against the defending National Championship team. Now Auburn will try to return the favor playing against a Clemson team that won the National Championship last year.
Swinney has been successful on offense against Auburn as a head coach. The Tigers have averaged 27 points per game in the four games Swinney has been head coach against Auburn. More impressively, the Tigers have averaged 85 plays for 490 yards in the four games. It breaks down to 48 rushes for 224 yards and 23-36 passing for 266 yards
per game. Clemson has averaged 27 first downs the last four games against Auburn.
Robert – Clemson 35 Auburn 21
Gavin – Clemson 27 Auburn 24
Will – Clemson 23 Auburn 20