Chick fil-A Kickoff Game: Needed 2nd-half Adjustments for Auburn, Clemson

Chick fil-A Kickoff Game: Needed 2nd-half Adjustments for Auburn, Clemson
September 2, 2012, 12:54 am
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by: Alex Welch (@alex__welch)

ATLANTA -- As the two teams head into halftime of the Chick fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome, the Clemson Tigers lead the Auburn Tigers 13-10.

Despite looking like a clear favorite, Dabo Swinney's ballclub hasn't managed to pull away from Auburn, giving up gashing plays and showing immaturity at times throughout two quarters of action.

On Gene Chizik's side, his squad is making the most of their opportunities on offense. But turnovers have cut two drives short, giving momentum right back towards Clemson.

Here are some adjustments for both sides while everyone prepares for the second half.


Auburn's offensive line is doing a good job handling the Clemson defensive front in the run game. Onterio McCalebb and Tre Mason have found huge gaps to run through. Clemson needs to find a way to seal off the holes at the point of attack.

Penalties are plaguing Clemson. They head to the locker room with six penalties for 30 yards. The undisciplined play continues to interrupt their fast pace, costing them in a big way.

Huge plays are killing Clemson. Auburn scored in the first quarter on a bomb to Emory Blake, who was left wide open sprinting towards the end zone. Mason busted off a 30-yard run, and Philip Lutzenkirchen caught a 38-yard pass without a defender within 10 feet of him. If not for a few lapses here and there, Clemson could be dominating.


The secondary for Auburn hasn't handled DeAndre Hopkins well. He is finding soft spots in zone coverage and exploiting them, making it look like he's playing catch with Tajh Boyd at times. Auburn needs to bring more aggression in coverage. Hopkins has eight catches for 80 yards so far.

Keep up the ground game. Auburn is averaging 4.9 yards per carry, which is helping Kiehl Frazier find open receivers when he steps back to pass. Frazier is only a sophomore, and as this is his first season at the helm of the offense, he needs some backup to rely on.

Frazier needs to be smart with the ball. He launched one pass up for grabs in the second quarter, leading to an easy interception for Clemson. He is making good reads, but costly mistakes like that will quickly eliminate any chance of winning for Auburn.

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