South Carolina football: Gamecocks get ready to face Auburn

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The South Carolina football team takes on Auburn in a week four matchup.

Tomorrow, the Gamecocks will take on the No. 15 Auburn Tigers in a noon matchup at Williams-Brice Stadium. South Carolina is coming off its first win of the year, having played their most complete game in a 41-7 defeat of Vanderbilt.

In the game, the Gamecocks were able to establish the run, totaling 289 yards on the ground. Kevin Harris led the team with 171 yards rushing, as South Carolina ball carriers found the endzone five different times.

Auburn is coming off of a 30-28 victory over Arkansas. A late field goal pushed the Tigers ahead of the Razorbacks, and the rushing attack of Tank Bigsby, Bo Nix, and DJ Williams ran roughshod over the Arkansas defense, tallying 269 yards on the ground. Bigsby in particular, has a monster game, totaling 268 all-purpose yards.

In 12 all-time matchups, Auburn holds a 10-1-1 lead. The Gamecocks have yet to take down the Tigers since joining the SEC, and currently sit on an eight-game losing streak, though four of the last five games have been decided by just a single score. They’ll try to end that streak on Saturday in a contest that’s sure to be close throughout.

TEAM OUTLOOKS

SOUTH CAROLINA

The Gamecocks have improved drastically on offense from a season ago, and much of that is due to a potent run game. South Carolina is sixth in the SEC in rushing, going for 165 yards a game. Tailback Kevin Harris trails only Alabama’s Najee Harris in yards gained on the ground, and he’s got the Gamecocks averaging over 30 points a game.

New quarterback Collin Hill has been reliable, and Gamecock pass catchers cleaned up some of the drop issues seen over the first couple of games last week.

The defense has been a little bit up and down. The numbers look good, as the unit ranks third in the SEC in yards and fourth in points allowed, but the Gamecocks have had some issues at times. South Carolina has struggled to slow running backs, giving up over five yards a carry to opposing ball carriers in the first three matchups. The secondary has also failed to avoid the big play, allowing 14 pass plays of 20 or more yards.

The Gamecocks have been better at getting in opposing backfields, though, as the team’s recorded seven sacks and 19 tackles for loss. The sack total is good for the fifth-best mark in the conference.

 

AUBURN

Auburn has struggled mightily on offense over the last three games and, on paper, they’ve got the 13th ranked offense of the conference’s 14 teams. While they have had some issues moving the ball, they’ve also had to go up against two of the league’s top defenses, Georgia and Kentucky.

Bo Nix is in his second season leading the Tiger attack, and the run game seemed to find an identity in last week’s meeting with the Razorbacks. Seth Williams on the outside is one of the SEC’s top receivers, too, so don’t expect Auburn to be one dimensional.

On defense, Auburn has excelled. They rank second in the SEC in points allowed, yielding just 22.7 points per game. The unit has been a bit “bend-but-don’t-break” as they’ve allowed the eighth-most yards in the league, but key takeaways have kept opponents out of the endzone.

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