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Discussing Depth: How Auburn Will Line Up Against Clemson


Kam Martin rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown in last week's game against Georgia Southern

(Photo: Auburn Athletics/Todd Van Emst)

Now that week one is in the rear view mirror, Auburn shifts their focus to Clemson. Auburn travels to Death Valley in hopes of being the first team to knock off the reigning national champions in 2017, and have the talent on their roster to do it.

Here is how they will line up, according to Head Coach Gus Malzahn.

Quarterback- Jarrett Stidham

Stidham showed signs of rust in last week's game against Georgia Southern. The sophomore started his first college football game in nearly two years last week, and tossed for 185 yards and two touchdowns through the air, one on the ground. Many fans were disappointed, but Malzahn continued to assure fans that he is still an inexperienced quarterback. With another night game looming, and Stidham being a player that lives for an exciting atmosphere, expect his level of play to grow this week.

Season Stats: 14-24, 185 yds, TD, INT. 9 rushes, 17 yards, TD

Runningback- Kamryn Pettway, Kam Martin

Last week, Auburn saw their starter, Kerryon Johnson, go down with an injury in the first half. With Kamryn Pettway unavailable, Kam Martin rose to the occasion, and played considerably well despite the circumstances. The Port Arthur, Texas native rushed 14 times for 136 yards and a score in a relief outing. This week, Pettway is back, but the status of Johnson is unclear. Martin could expect to see more carries this week as well. For Pettway, he did not burst onto the scene until after Auburn hosted Clemson to start 2016, so this will be a new experience for both Auburn and Clemson alike.

Season Stats (as a unit): 53 carries, 351 yards, 3 TD

Receiver-

Darius Slayton, Nate Craig-Myers, Eli Stove, Ryan Davis, Will Hastings, Kyle Davis

Kyle Davis, like Kamryn Pettway, was unavailable for last week against Georgia Southern. Nate Craig-Myers did not record a catch in week one. While Auburn's receiving unit is stacked, Davis and Craig-Myers were expected to have big seasons, but have not been given a look so far. Will Hastings had the best day receiving-wise last week, picking up 4 catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Davis reeled in two passes, catching one for a score. With Stidham having one game under his belt, and Clemson's secondary not being tested in week one, this game will determine just how good this unit is.

Season stats (as a unit)- 15 catches, 184 yards, 2 TD

Offensive Line-

Prince Tega Wanogho, Mike Horton, Austin Golson, Braden Smith, Darius James

The first game for this unit was tremendous. A group that returns three starters, and two others that have wowed coaches during camp, paved the way for Auburn's offense to gain 535 total yards against Georgia Southern, including 351 on the ground. Offensive Coordinator Chip Lindsey, as well as Braden Smith, believes that there are eight people capable of starting at other schools around the country, based on talent.

Season stats (as an offense)-

Passing- 184 yards, 2 TD

Rushing- 351 yards, 3 TD

First Downs- 25

Jeff Holland fills the shoes of Carl Lawson at BUCK. He was third in tackles last week against Georgia Southern. (Photo: Auburn Athletics/ Todd Van Emst)

Defensive Line-

Jeff Holland, Dontavius Russell, Derrick Brown, Marlon Davidson

One word to describe this Auburn defense? WOW. This unit allowed only 78 yards of total offense to a team known to pad stats by running the football, and controlling the clock. The defensive line did not miss a beat after losing talent in Carl Lawson and Montravius Adams to the NFL last season. This group had the second, third, and fourth leading tackler in the game, combining for three sacks and 5.5 sacks. Although not listed as a starter, Nick Coe picked up four tackles on the day.

Season stats (as a unit)- 18 tackles, 5.5 for loss, 3 sacks

Tre Williams led all defenders with 10 tackles and two sacks to open the season (Wade Rackley)

Linebackers-

Darrell Williams, Deshaun Davis, Tre Williams, Montavious Atkinson

The front seven reaped the rewards of playing a run-heavy offense last week, the linebackers did not have as big of a day as the line, but were still productive. The leading tackler plays in this group, Tre Williams. Williams recorded tackles, with two of them being sacks. Darrell Williams and Montavious Atkinson recorded five tackles together.

Season stats (as a unit)- 15 tackles, two sacks, three for loss

Secondary-

Javaris Davis, Jamel Dean, Tray Matthews, Stephen Roberts, Carlton Davis, Daniel Thomas

This group's season still has not kicked off, for the most part. Last week, the Georgia Southern offense attempted nine passes, completing four, for a total of eight yards. This week will be much different, however, as Clemson threw for 312 last week against Kent State. Stephen Roberts made the most of what was given to him, by picking up four tackles, two for loss. Each starter recorded at least one tackle, with Daniel Thomas picking off Eagle quarterback Shai Werts.

Season stats (as a unit)- 10 tackes, 2 for loss, INT)

Special Teams-

P- Ian Shannon

K- Daniel Carlson

Carlson had... an off night against Georgia Southern. The senior, who missed only four field goals last season, missed two to open 2017. Carlson will head into Death Valley as the teams leading scorer, with 11 points so far on the season. (2-4 XP, 5-5 FG). Ian Shannon takes over for Kevin Phillips, and was used sparingly as he only punted once for 42 yards.

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