Gamecocks Game of Almosts Against Auburn


Steve Spurrier used the word a lot after it was over, and it definitely was a Gamecocks game of almosts against Auburn.  Almosts isnt’ really a word, but in this case it seems to apply very well.  South Carolina lost 42-35 to the 5th ranked Auburn Tigers in a game that literally came down to the last second.  With the clock expiring, Dylan Thompson heaved one from just beyond the 40 of Auburn into the end zone, but unfortunately the ball fell into the hands of an Tiger defender and the game was over.

The game was an offensive shootout from beginning to end, with the Gamecocks throwing for over 400 yards and Auburn rushing for almost400 yards.  Both teams finished with over 500 yards of total offense.  So it was close, closer than many people thought it would be, and after the game Coach Steve Spurrier’s favorite word to describe the game was almost.  So what were these almosts that could have helped the Gamecocks win?

Gamecocks almost went up 14-0 in the first quarter.  After forcing Auburn to punt, South Carolina had another strong drive and looked like they were going to score back to back touchdowns.  They almost did, except Auburn found a way to pressure Dylan Thompson, who threw the ball into the middle of the field right to a Tiger player, and suddenly they had the ball at their 8 yard line.  Then they drove the length of the field to tie things up, which was a huge shift.

Almosts isnt’ really a word, but in this case it seems to apply very well

Gamecocks almost had a chance to go into halftime with the lead.  They had the ball and a first down at their own 38, and for some reason decided to pretty much run out the clock even though the offense hadn’t been stopped yet.

Gamecocks surprised everyone except twitter users by going for and recovering an onside kick late in the third quarter.  They almost took the lead in the fourth quarter as they were driving as they had the ball at the Auburn 18  yard line.  Dylan was pressured, threw the ball a half a step early, and was intercepted in the end zone.  Another almost.

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With almost 6 minutes left in the game, South Carolina had 1st and 10 at the Auburn 15 yard line.  Similar to the end of the Missouri game, an offense that couldn’t be stopped suddenly couldn’t move, and the Gamecocks failed to convert for a first down after five fourth down conversions in this game.  They almost tied the game with five minutes left, but now Auburn had the ball.

Throughout the entire game, there were “almost” passes that either were just overthrown or just dropped.  All of them seemed to be symbolic of the entire game, as so many of those were so close, just like the last play of the game.

Either way, like you used to say as a kid, almost only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades, so in the end this is still a loss for the Gamecocks.  But it’s a loss against a top ranked team on their home field in which no one gave them a shot at even being in the game, and until that last play ended, everyone watching felt like they still had a shot to win……almost.  When you have that many almost moments in a game, then you have almosts, right?