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Auburn vs Clemson Staff Predictions and Early Morning Thread

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IT'S GAME DAY. Our fine bunch weighs in on tonight's game against Clemson.

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

GAME DAY IS UPON US! It's finally here! Whether you're watching at home or will be in the stadium, tonight, it's time to rejoice for college football is truly upon us.

This article will serve as an open thread for those of you at home who are watching football all day long. Feel free to comment about any games and happenings going on. We'll have the usual game thread up around game time.

War Eagle, everyone. Let's get to the predictions:

PEGGY:

Aubie: 1,000,000 cat heart eye emojis  / 8-Ball the Tiger: 14 poop emojis

TUCO:

Auburn keeps it close for most of the game but Clemson pulls away late.  Clemson 45 Auburn 28.

OSCAR WHISKEY:

A six pack of Lone Star.

DR Z:

We'll be making the trip with a Clemson fan(!) in tow.  I would like a repeat of her last trip in 2010, but this year my optimism is low.  Here's hoping for a pleasant surprise from Gus and Company.

Clemson 31
Auburn 27

SON OF CROW:

Well I think Clemson scores first, but Auburn scores last.
Gimme auburn 30, Clemson 27

RYAN STERRITT:

I think the game comes down to Clemson finishing drives and Auburn kicking field goals.

35-30 Clemson.

AU_JONESY:

I want so bad to barn hard and give us the win, but I don't see any way it happens without at the very least two short field touchdowns set up by defensive or special teams plays. I still think it's close

Clemson 31
Auburn 26

DUSTY:

I'm with James. I want to Barn. I want to Barn hard. But Auburn has to show me that the struggles of 2015 have been put to rest before I let myself dream.

Barnomistic (much more than optimistic): Auburn scores twice on defense and kills Watson's Heisman chances right out of the gate. White looks like Elway and Toomers gets rolled after a 37-23 win.

Pessimistic: Watson shows how much he has improved and torches a thin secindary. The Auburn offense looks like 2015 and Gus' redzone play calling is again baffling. Sucky day as Aubie goes down 42-19

Realistic (still not fun): Auburn's defensive front 7 shows it has improved, but not enough to stop what is potentially the best offense in the country. Auburn settles for FGs on a couple redzone opportunities, one late in the game, and it makes a difference. Clem 33-Aub 29

BOBBY BARKLEY:


Contrary to the popular analysis that this is going to be a blowout loss for Auburn, Saturday is not going to be Deshaun Watson Happy Heisman Hour. He's not invincible, and he's not going to get 100 yards every quarter. Having said that...

Deshaun Watson lost one of his top WRs in Charone Peake, but he's going to find options with his junior WRs against a secondary that's shaky at best now that Stephen Roberts is suspended (not that our secondary was air-tight to begin with, but losing him still hurts). However, if you look at Watson's 2015 stats, he tends to do more damage in the first half. Even at JH, he's going to continue this trend by racking up yards and probably a couple of touchdowns (likely both with his legs) in the first quarter. The key will be Auburn's morale and response. Auburn's front seven have to bring consistent pressure every down. Pray that Carl Lawson doesn't go down early like last year's opener against Louisville, which resulted in such a strange vibe on defense despite the win.

I see the first half as the Deshaun Show. He'll rush a bunch in the first quarter and pass a bunch in the second, which will incessantly test our secondary to the annoyance of our fans (but don't you dare sit down and stop yelling), and Clemson will probably score 14-24 points. I think the game could hinge on a key turnover early in the game for Auburn, which still relies on red zone scoring, so if we pick up an INT or a fumble recovery, it has to be followed by a touchdown, period, and I don't care if it's a Sean White pass TD, a Kerryon Johnson wildcat rush TD, or a Jeremy Johnson rush TD. Just score in the red zone. Let this be the year we lock in once we cross the 20.

Let this also be the year we quit playing patty-cake in the third quarter. Clemson certainly won't.

Look, Clemson is going to get yards and score touchdowns. Nobody is saying otherwise. The keys to the game will be our OL, how our team contains/responds to Clemson's dynamic offense, and whether our fans keep JH rocking the entire game. This is a night game at Jordan-Hare, which to me means that there's no excuse for this game not to be as loud as Florida '06. That's the atmosphere I want to witness on TV, wherever I'm watching the game. I mean, if we convert just one turnover into points—see ya, bye.

I'm sick of Clemson and Dabo's big stupid baby head, but even if we lose Saturday, we'll get to enjoy countless Iron Bowl wins against Alabama's favorite son in a few years, just as the prophecy foretold. War Damn Eagle, always.

Auburn 30
Clemson 38

WALT:

Last year it got to the point where I wouldn't even make score predictions. I just started giving general thoughts on what I thought was going to happen in games. I really don't know what I think about this game. I do not think it's going to be a blow out. Or, if it looks that way, it'll be because Clemson gets a late TD to make it a two score game.

This is the same core group of Auburn Tigers who were predicted to go to the College Football Playoff last season. Sure, the running backs are different, but Gus and Tim Horton have a history of being plug-and-play at running back. I also get that the wide receivers are a question because they're young or unproven. The biggest difference between this year and last year is the QB situation. I believe Sean White will prove himself more than capable. That's why I believe this is going to be a close game.

The running backs will find ground to game. Sean White provides the intermediate routes in the passing game that were missing when he wasn't playing last year. The new WRs (and some of the older ones) will start to step up, though with some heartbreaking growing pains. This game will be close to the end.

Unfortunately, I just think that inexperience at WR and RB will rear its head one too many times. We'll walk out of this game thinking "if only this play had gone differently," but we're also going to walk out feeling a lot more confident about the 2016 season.

I've got Clemson 31, Auburn 27.