Quarterback play may decide Sept. 1's Chick-fil-a Kickoff Game between Clemson and Auburn, but Clemson QB Tajh Boyd's job got a bit tougher thanks to star sophomore receiver Sammy Watkins' two-game suspension.
Boyd, who threw for more than 3,800 yards and 33 TDs in 2011, still has DeAndre Hopkins and Charone Peake to work with out wide and 1,100-yard rusher Andre Ellington in the backfield. Still, Watkins established himself as perhaps the best receiver in the country during a dazzling freshman season (82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 TDs).
Auburn, meanwhile, will be breaking in a new starter at QB in Kiehl Frazier, a dual-threat player who's a good fit for the scheme. He'll have to be sharp from the first snap if Auburn wants to win this one.
The Tigers (SEC edition) boast one of the best defensive lines in the conference, led by Nosa Eguae, Corey Lemonier, Kenneth Carter, LaDarius Owens and Jeffrey Whitaker. If Auburn can control the line of scrimmage and allow new defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder to utilize his blitz packages-- and if AU can find consistency in the secondary --Clemson should be on alert.
Kickoff Time: 7:00 pm ET
Odds: Clemson -3, O/U set at 56.5 points
For more on the Auburn Tigers, head over to College And Magnolia, and for more on the Clemson Tigers, head over to Shakin' The Southland. Also, be sure to check out SBNation's dedicated College Football hub.