Hurricane Irma forced my evacuation from my home in Fort Myers, Fla. so I watched the Auburn at Clemson game from Orlando. Here’s what I saw as Clemson won, 14-6.
Auburn QB Stidham has a lot of arm talent, but I was anxious to see how the Baylor transfer would handle pressure from elite defensive linemen who simply do not often play in the Big 12. Clemson has those defensive linemen in spades, with Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Austin Bryant, and others. It could be the best defensive line in the nation.
Stidham was harassed for much of the night, which was not surprising. But I was surprised by just how out of place he looked. It was as if he expected to have all day to throw the ball like he did playing in the Big 12. That was not the case. Clemson sacked him 11 times.
Stidham did not slide well in the pocket, appeared to be looking at the rush, and despite lacking the internal clock, did not step up much to deliver the ball.
And it was similar in the first and second halves. Stidham was 6-of-11 for 39 yards in the first half, 7-for-13 for 40 yards in the second half. While the broadcasters spoke about Auburn throwing effectively on first down, when Clemson would be focused on the run, that didn’t actually happen very often. His first-down passes went for -1, 9, 6, and 5 yards, plus 3 incompletions.
Clemson also did not seem to respect Stidham as a run threat, which, to some extent, hurt Auburn’s running game. In pass protection, Auburn’s line was often beaten, and rarely helped out by short, quick throws.Read More...
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