South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Auburn Tigers
The South Carolina Gamecocks and the Auburn Tigers meet for an SEC battle in Columbia. The Gamecocks are -11.5 point favorites over the Tigers with an over/under point total set at 58.
After four games the South Carolina Gamecocks are unbeaten but Steve Spurrier knows he’s a long way away from accomplishing his teams’ goal of an SEC Championship. QB Stephen Garcia may never be the QB that Spurrier had hoped for but he has been winning despite his suspect numbers completing 54.7 percent of his passes for 684 yards and three touchdowns but tossing seven interceptions. While Garcia also has three rushing touchdowns there aren’t too many running backs out there that are better than Marcus Lattimore who seems to get better each week. Lattimore has rushed for 611 yards and eight touchdowns and has caught 12 passes and scored another touchdown through the air and he is simply just tough to bring to the turf. With Garcia’s struggles Alshon Jeffrey’s numbers are down this season with just 14 catches for 246 yards anda touchdown though he is always a threat. After being lit up a few times earlier this year, South Carolina had their best defensive performance this past weekend as they shut down Vandy. Antonio Allen leads the defense with 36 tackles followed by D.J. Swearlinger with 23 and Stephon Gilmore with 18 and Jadeveon Clowney has been all he was billed to be with four sacks just four games into his Freshman season. While South Carolina is coming off their most complete performance of the year it doesn’t get any easier for them as they continue through their SEC schedule.
The Auburn Tigers aren’t the same team we saw a year ago that won the National Championship but for an off year they aren’t any pushovers. Gene Chizik knew coming into this year he had some big shoes to fill on both sides of the ball and while they aren’t filled, the Tigers are getting the job done. No one expected QB Barrett Trotter to be the next Cam Newton but he has been decent completing 61.6 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and 783 yards while throwing three interceptions. Emory Blake has been Trotter’s main target with 16 catches for 317 yards and four touchdowns and Travon Reed has 13 catches. Running back Michael Dyer is a home run threat every time he touches the ball averaging 6.9 yards per carry gaining 438 yards and scoring six touchdowns and Onterio McCalebb hasn’t been as effective but as a dual threat back he is only going to improve as we have seen big things from him last season. The defense at Auburn simply hasn’t been good enough allowing chunks of yardage against teams like Florida Atlantic and Utah State and the area they must improve if they are going to compete against the better SEC teams. Neiko Thorpe has 40 tackles followed by Daren Bates with 33 and Demetruce Mcneal with 28 but Auburn’s big tackle numbers are just an indication they have been on the field too much. This will be a stiff test for the Tigers and a good barometer of how there season is going to go.
South Carolina is 2-5 against the spread following a cover, 2-6 against the spread as a home favorite, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games. Auburn is 10-1 against the spread in their last 11 SEC games, 4-1 against the spread in their last five games as an underdog, and 2-6 against the spread in their last eight games as a road underdog.
We should see plenty of fireworks here as we have two backs who can take it to the house every time they touch the ball and with the total at 58 I see it going over.