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Auburn Running Back Michael Dyer
Gus Malzahn's offense is often one of quick strikes and short possessions. But this season has shown that it can be most effective when chewing up the clock and providing rest for the defense.
Against Mississippi State, Auburn actually won time of possession 31:48 to 28:12. That's the reason the defense could hold up repeatedly in the fourth quarter. Their touchdown drives were each eight-play, four-minute possessions. Even when they didn't score, they gained first downs.
Against Clemson, the first half time of possession was terrible. Clemson had the ball more than twice as long as Auburn did. It was amazing that the defense only gave up 17 points. But then in the second half (when Auburn moved the ball and scored on three straight possessions), time of possession was about even.
Obviously, Auburn will take quick strike touchdowns if they can get them. But if Auburn's defense is to stand up to Marcus Lattimore and Stephen Garcia in the fourth quarter, they will need to have had some rest during the game. If Auburn can sustain some drives, that would help tremendously.
So watch the time of possession on Saturday. Auburn doesn't have to win it, but keeping things close to equal would be a big step towards a "W."