No. 21 Auburn Tigers at Clemson Tigers
Saturday, 9/17/11, 12:00 PM EST, TV: ABC
Opening Point Spread: Clemson -4
Current Betting Line: Clemson -3
Opening Total: 56.5
Current Total: 59
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker
Auburn takes to the road for the first time this season after picking up two home wins over Utah State (42-38) and Mississippi State (41-34). The Tigers have been out-gained in each contest and will be looking to hand Clemson a 15th consecutive loss in the series. It will also put the nation’s longest win streak on the line, as it’s reached 17 and head coach Gene Chizik doesn’t expect the fresh faces in the locker room to allow it to be snapped without putting up a fight. “I think that we are still trying to figure out really as a whole what the identity of our team is, and I think that as the season unfolds you figure it out game by game,” he commented during the week. The last two meetings between these two schools have gone to over time and been decided on the final play. Auburn is 6-2 ATS as an underdog.
The Tigers have tallied a 5-3 record under Chizik in true road games, as the offense has scored 24 or more points in five of those eight contests. Auburn’s offense has scored 30 or more points in 18 of his 29 games on the sidelines. The running game started to get its footing last week, finishing with 235 yards against the Bulldogs, including 150 yards and two touchdowns from Mike Dyer. He served as the school’s first returning 1,000-yard rusher since 2006.
Clemson is looking to taste victory in this series for the first time since 1951, but it won’t come easy. The Tigers have trailed at times against lesser opponents in the early going this season, coming away with 43-19 and 35-27 wins over Troy and Wofford respectively. “We got to get better,” said Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney. “But we’re 2-0 and that’s all that matters.” If the team is able to pull off the victory, it would be the longest winning streak stopped by the program in school history. Clemson is 15-17 ATS versus SEC opponents.
The Tigers will need a big game from running back Andrew Ellington, who is currently 14th in the nation in averaging 127 rushing yards. Clemson certainly missed his explosiveness in not being available for most or all of six games a season ago. Offensively, the team is averaging 206 rushing yards and 266 passing yards a game. Those numbers have led to tremendous success over the years, posting a 54-0-1 all-time record when gaining at least 200 yards of each type of offense in the same game. Quarterback Tajh Boyd has thrown for three touchdown passes in each of the first two games.
Bettors will likely back Auburn due to its 6-0 ATS mark versus winning teams, while Clemson is 1-4 ATS at home.
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