CLEMSON, S.C. — There was no miracle finish for Auburn. Not this time.
The Tigers, who arrived here Saturday with the nation’s longest winning streak and a string of comeback victories, lost to Clemson 38-24 at Frank Howard Field.
The loss snapped a 17-game winning streak for the defending national champs. Clemson made sure of that with more than 600 yards of offense.
The Tigers, who scored the winning touchdown with 30 seconds left in the opener against Utah State and stopped Mississippi State an inch short of the goal line on the final play last week, melted away against Clemson. Auburn had eight comeback wins last year, too.
Not this Saturday.
Auburn had its chances, leading 14-0 and 21-7 in the first half. But Clemson scored the next three touchdowns from there for a 28-21 lead. Auburn closed the gap to 28-24 on a field goal with five minutes late in the third quarter.
But Auburn couldn’t stop Tajh Boyd, who threw four touchdown passes. Sammy Watkins set a Clemson single-season freshman receiving record in the third quarter when he caught his ninth pass — a touchdown — that gave him 146 yards.
Clemson outscored Auburn 31-3 after getting hot in the second quarter.
Auburn running back Mike Dyer had another big day. He went for more than 150 yards after rushing for 150 yards against Mississippi State the week before. But not even Dyer could help Auburn’s defensive play.
Clemson converted 10 straight third-down conversions during one troublesome stretch.
Clemson improved to 3-0. Auburn, 2-1, will try to rebound against Florida Atlantic next Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium.