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Halftime Report: 5 Observations on Auburn

Matthew BrennanCorrespondent IISeptember 17, 2011

Halftime Report: 5 Observations on Auburn

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    The No. 21 Auburn Tigers are playing their first road game of the 2011 season at Clemson.

    It's been a solid first half for Auburn as they head into the locker room tied at 21-21 and look to go 3-0 on the season. Auburn is getting some big plays on offense and limiting Clemson's playmakers on defense, putting them in the driver's seat to extend their winning streak to 18 games.

    Here are five observations about Auburn from the first half.

Michael Dyer Running Wild Again

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    Star running back Michael Dyer got Auburn on the scoreboard early with a 52-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

    The play was Dyer’s fifth touchdown of the season, equaling his amount of scores from his 2010 freshman campaign.

    Dyer returned to the end zone for a second time in the second quarter, scoring a short touchdown run out of the wildcat formation. He has 85 yards on 10 carries after putting Auburn up 21-7.

Barrett Trotter off to a Hot Start

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    Barrett Trotter is starting to show he is for real as Auburn’s starting quarterback.

    The junior is having another efficient game with 128 yards on 8-of-15 passing and a touchdown. He looks very comfortable in the offense and has the Tigers moving down the field quickly.

    Trotter even showed some running ability with a 7-yard carry in the second quarter.

Emory Blake's Streak Continues

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    Emory Blake hauled in a 36-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to put Auburn up 14-0.

    The senior wide receiver has now caught a touchdown in six straight games dating back to the 2010 season. The school record is eight straight games, set by Terry Beasley in 1971.

Clemson Playmakers Quiet so Far

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    The Auburn defense has struggled early this season, but they are doing a good job limiting Clemson stars Andre Ellington and Sammy Watkins.

    Ellington, who ran for 140 yards against Auburn last season, had been held to only 18 yards midway through the second quarter before finding the end zone late in the first half. Sammy Watkins is off to a great start to his career at wide receiver, but he only has two catches for 19 yards so far.

    Watkins was denied by the Auburn defense on a long pass attempt that would have been a touchdown if he came up with the ball.

    Despite the struggles of some of his key weapons, quarterback Tajh Boyd is having a solid game with two touchdown passes in the first half.

Auburn Return Game Struggling

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    Auburn’s return game has been a strength over the first two games, but they are struggling mightily so far in Clemson.

    Punt returner Trovon Reed made a poor decision when attempting a return from the goal line, resulting in bad field position for the Tigers.

    Tre Mason has been limited so far on kick returns with only 19 yards on two attempts.

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