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Friday Football Primer: Chick-Fil-A Bowl Edition

By on December 28th, 2007 in Football Comments Off

By Jay Coulter
jccoulter@gmail.com

It’s hard to believe that today marks our final Friday Football Primer of the 2007 season. College football season goes by too fast.

Auburn practiced for a little more than two hours yesterday at the practice fields on the campus of Georgia Tech. The talk continues to center around the implementation of the new spread offense.

One thing is for certain: the wide receivers are ecstatic. Count junior Rod Smith in that group. “You can go out there and play football,” Smith said. “That’s the good thing about Tony Franklin. He tells you just to go out there and make plays.

“I was definitely surprised how we picked up the offense,” Smith said. “It’s not complicated like the West Coast offense is. You just have to learn the signals. You do that and you’ll be all right.

“You don’t have to really worry about blocking in the spread offense. That’s the good thing about it. Blocking is still part of the gameplan, but you definitely love it when you can go out there and run a lot of routes and just have fun out there.”

Here’s a little game knowledge to get you ready for Monday night:

When Auburn takes the field against Clemson it will mark the eighth consecutive bowl game and 34th overall for the Tigers. This streak of bowl appearances is the second longest in school history. Auburn had a streak of nine straight bowl appearances from 1982-1990…

This will be Auburn’s fourth appearance in the Atlanta-based bowl game. In 2001, the Tigers were beaten 16-10 by North Carolina. The last win in the game was against Clemson in 1998 when Auburn defeated the other Tigers 21-17…

Auburn’s senior class has a chance to become the winningest in school history with a victory over Clemson. A win would be the group’s 42nd victory in the last four years…

Auburn’s record of 41-9 over the last four years ranks it sixth nationally in victories. It’s still amazing how some take Auburn’s success for granted. These are indeed special times…

Auburn leads the SEC in scoring defense (16.7, sixth nationally) and is second in total defense (298.3, eighth nationally)…

Defensive end Antonio Coleman is tied for 17th nationally with 17 tackles for losses, which is the most of any Auburn player since 1995. He also leads the team in sacks with seven. The fact that Coleman didn’t make one all conference team is a crime. Show me a better defensive end in the conference. ..

Look for Auburn to start fast. The Tigers have scored on their opening drive in six of the last eight games, averaging 11.3 plays and 70.8 yards on those scoring drives…

Auburn has played 11 games in domes throughout its history. The Tigers are 4-6-1 playing with a roof over its head and 3-3-1 in bowl games. Auburn sports a 2-3 record in games played at the Georgia Dome…

A little bit about Clemson…

Clemson finished tied for second in the Atlantic Division of the ACC, finishing with a 5-3 conference mark, one game behind Boston College…

Clemson will be making its 30th bowl appearance and its third straight…

Nine of Clemson’s 12 games were decided by double digits…

Most of the attention around Clemson focuses on offense, but their defense is equally potent. The other Tigers rank sixth nationally in total defense and tenth in scoring defense. The storyline of this game should be how Auburn’s offense contends with this stellar Clemson unit…

Clemson led the ACC in scoring offense this season and ranks 23rd nationally…

Clemson back James Davis ranks second in the conference and 51st nationally in rushing at 82.7 yards a game. He needs just eight yards Monday night to go over the 1,000 yard mark for the season…

Quarterback Cullen Parker leads the ACC in passing efficiency (146.90) and is second in total offense (233.4). Parker’s 27 touchdown passes this year are a single season school record…

Auburn and Clemson will meet during the 2010 (at Auburn) and 2011 (at Clemson) seasons.

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