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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Auburn-Clemson pre-game blog post

We've arrived at the stadium a good two hours before kickoff. It is HOT out. No joke. Hot. If I had to guess, I'd say it's at least 156 degrees in the sun. The weather service says 95. I think they're low-balling it.

From the looks of it, most fans have bought into this "True Blue" gimmick, much more than the disastrous "Navy Nightmare" attempt last Halloween. Lots of blue in the section. I'm sure those in orange are being shunned.

We'll be blogging leading up to the game with important bits of info. We'll be able to put to rest the blue pants rumors once and for all and will probably get a good idea of if Craig Stevens comes off the suspension list, so check back. I'll tweet the important stuff. You can follow me on Twitter here.

If you missed ESPN's College GameDay this morning, both Desmond Howard and Lee Corso picked Auburn to win. (Kirk Herbstreit didn't make a pick because he's calling the game.) Here's Corso throwing toilet paper shortly after making the pick. Click to embiggen.

Time for your pre-game minutia, courtesy of Auburn's game notes:
  • Auburn leads the series 33-11-2 and has won 13 straight in the series dating back to 1951.
  • Auburn is 5-5 as ESPN College GameDay's on-site game. It has a 3-2 mark at home. Clemson is 1-1.
  • Auburn is 20-4 in home night games since 2000.
  • Auburn opponents are 0-for-7 on third-down conversions in the fourth quarter this year.
  • Cam Newton is second in the SEC in rushing (120.5 ypg) and total offense (281.5)third in passing efficiency (186.5) and 10th in all-purpose yards (131.5).
  • Auburn's 10 touchdown plays this year have averaged 25.1 yards. Five have been 35 yards or longer.
  • Clemson QB Kyle Parker is the first player in NCAA history to throw for 20 touchdowns and hit 20 home runs in the same season.
UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: LB Craig Stevens is out with the team at midfield for the pre-game prayer. He hasn't been out there the last two weeks. That's a good sign he'll play.

Also, OT Roszell Gayden had his right arm in a sling with a cast. Not sure what the problem is, but this, combined with the knee injury that slowed him during August, probably means he's headed for a redshirt season.

UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.: Auburn's players were sporting T-shirt that said "All In" on the front as they entered the stadium. Apparently that was a Dabo Swinney phrase from a couple years back. (And, honestly, a poker phrase for forever.) Turnabout is fair play. Clemson co-opted the phrase "Tiger Walk" for its jaunt to the stadium. Like I tweeted earlier, be like rappers. Call it "sampling," not "stealing." Sounds more pleasant.

UPDATE 5:23 p.m.: Sorry for the delay. Lots of pre-game stuff going on if you look above this on the blog. On last quick note: Freshman Mike Dyer will start in place of Mario Fannin at tailback. This might be the game where he seizes the full-time gig.

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