Auburn-Clemson preview

Published 12:00am Friday, September 17, 2010

By the Associated Press -

No. 16 Auburn (2-0) vs. Clemson (2-0), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Auburn by 7.

Series Record: Auburn leads 33-11-2.

Last Meeting: 2007, Auburn, 23-20.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Both teams want to prove they’re legit after 2-0 starts. Auburn has scaled the rankings with a win over Arkansas State and a narrow escape at Mississippi State. Clemson has pounded on lesser teams North Texas and Presbyterian College.

KEY MATCHUP

Clemson QB Kyle Parker against a secondary that is giving up 226 passing yards a game, ninth-worst in the Southeastern Conference. Parker directs an offense that leads the Atlantic Coast Conference in five categories, including touchdown passes and pass efficiency.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Clemson: S DeAndre McDaniel. He should be a key in trying to slow down Auburn’s dual-threat QB Cameron Newton. Newton is the SEC’s No. 2 rusher, while McDaniel leads Clemson in tackles and had eight interceptions last season.

Auburn: RB Michael Dyer. He’s just a freshman and hasn’t started yet, but coaches have said he’s ready for a bigger role. Compact and powerful, Dyer could be poised to make up some ground on Newton as the team’s top rusher.

FACTS & FIGURES

Auburn has won the past 13 meetings, but this is the first regular-season matchup since 1971. … Clemson is just 6-28-1 all-time in road games against ranked nonconference teams, but has won three of the last seven. … Clemson is 10th nationally in pass efficiency while Auburn is fourth. … Auburn coach Gene Chizik began his college coaching career as a Clemson graduate assistant during the 1988 and 1989 seasons. … Auburn’s 10 touchdown plays in the first two games have averaged 25.1 yards. … Clemson is off to just its 12th 2-0 start in the past 39 years. … Parker helped Clemson’s baseball team beat Auburn in the decisive game of an NCAA regional with a three-run homer in the 13-7 win.

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