Clemson dominates the trenches

Tigers roll up 320 yards rushing, get big stops on defense

Clemson defensive tackle DeShawn Williams tackles Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb during the second quarter at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson defensive tackle DeShawn Williams tackles Auburn running back Onterio McCalebb during the second quarter at the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta.

It did, indeed, come down to the trenches.

And in the end of what is clearly only a beginning, the young Tigers got the job done - on both sides of the line of scrimmage.

"It was time for our guys to step up and get some respect. It was their turn to step up and get an identity," said offensive coordinator Chad Morris. "If we're going to win and at the level we expect to win at, we're going to have to run the football. I'm extremely proud of our offensive line right now."

From the start, the young line provided lanes for Andre Ellington and Tajh Boyd to run. They struggled early against Auburn's pass rushing, and allowed four first-half sacks.

But in the end, after a see-saw, tug of war and exchange of field goals that saw Auburn edge ahead 19-16, the Tigers bowed up an went to work behind an offensive front that featured three first-time starters - David Beasley, Gifford Timothy and Tyler Shatley.

Clemson ran the ball all but two plays on a 75-yard drive for what proved to be the winning points, and then, after the defense forced a punt on Auburn's next possession, took the ball again and moved the length of the field on a drive that included a third-down conversion run by Boyd and a 45-yard scamper by Ellington.

On fourth-and-goal from the one, Dabo Swinney took three points from a difficult angle by Chandler Catanzaro for 26-19 lead, and then turned to his defense to finish the job.

They did just that.

Vic Beasley got pressure on a first-down incompletion, and then, after Auburn had picked up 17 yards on a pass over the middle, Malliciah Goodman sacked quarterback Kiehl Frazier, whose fumble was recovered by a teammate for a two-yard game.

With Auburn out of timeouts and the clock running down, Frazier missed on second down, and then on third down was sacked by Beasley, who fought through a block on the corner to make the play.

When it was over, the Tigers had rolled up 320 yards rushing. Auburn had 180, but worked hard against a Clemson defense that repeatedly came up with timely stops.

Clemson defensive linemen combined for 18 tackles, led by Josh Watson with 18.

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Comments » 4

33dtb writes:

in response to sennmanthetigerfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

YEEEEEES!!!!!!!!!!
Isn't it nice??
Kinda worried about pass protection there for a while, but O-Line (always capitalized, by the way) came through.
Real nice !!

33dtb writes:

Here was the "chorus" line:

........""""""August 28, 2012
12:26 a.m.
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Written on College football preview: Dabo Swinney faces important year in 2012:

I keep asking and keep getting scolded for my negativity, but when are we realize that we need to PRIORITIZE the O-Line .?????????????????????

Every year we get all the smoke about how the O-Line situation has improved THIS year, then we start with the shuffling of the deck.
I hope we really are better this year, just like I've hoped every year since we got rid of the "late/great TB", but we will soon see.

Remember, last year our top OT, our Left OT, started his career at CU as a WALK-ON......What does that say about our recruiting.??? Our talent evaluation.???""""".......

Evidently this is the year we turn the corner.

33dtb writes:

in response to sennmanthetigerfan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Being as you mentioned it, you are kinda negative about Jack Legget. 'Course his former assistant is head coach now at Florida- ranked higher than Gamecocks most of the season and they didn't do much better than we ever have at the CWS.

33dtb writes:

Someone observed that Jack Leggett would NOT recruit a pitcher that didn't throw "heat".

USC's ace had a fastball in the mid 80s and he owned us.
Get us a Greg Maddox.

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