Published December 2, 2010 - 6:00am
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For several years, fans throughout the SEC have been waiting for South Carolina to arrive and play to their capability under Steve Spurrier. That has not been done yet, until this year. Several Spurrier-coached teams at South Carolina have been hyped preseason, only to lay down when they get into the meat of their schedule. Spurrier has his troops firing on all cylinders right now coming off a blowout win in Gainesville to win the East and a win against their in-state rival Clemson. One thing is for certain, the Ole’ Ball Coach is a big-game coach who knows how to dial it up against a weak secondary.
Everyone throughout the country in different media organizations – mostly the mother ship (ESPN) – is already comparing Auburn and Oregon. How will Auburn fair against a lightning fast, finesse-spread team like Oregon? Will Oregon be able to stop Auburn’s Cam Newton? Let’s not forget, Auburn still has to survive Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks in Atlanta. South Carolina has a couple different things going for them in order to pull the ultimate upset this weekend in Atlanta.
Auburn’s secondary is weak. They are last in the SEC in pass defense. They are giving up 250-plus yards per game through the air. The Ball Coach is licking his chops at this time, looking at film and game planning. He has the best receiver in the league in Alshon Jeffery, and he should plan on getting him the football early and often. Steven Garcia has been efficient this year – not spectacular, but adequate. He has kept the turnovers down in some big games – namely Alabama – and has led them to victory. Spurrier will find a way to get his receivers the football in space on good routes in order to torch Auburn’s secondary.
South Carolina’s rush defense finished ranked #1 in the league. They are giving up slightly over 93 yards per game. As we all know, the Auburn offense can run it down anyone’s throat and have all season. The Tigers average 291 yards per game. Will South Carolina be able to establish the line of scrimmage on defense? If they can, it should slow down the Tiger offense enough for the Gamecocks to be effective or at least give them a shot.
Marcus Lattimore. This kid needs no introduction. If the Gamecocks can get him going and burn clock while getting first downs, they have a legit shot. If Lattimore is controlling the ground-game, play action to Jeffery will indeed be a factor. Lattimore only had 33 yards rushing the first go ‘round on The Plains, and he will have to be much more of a factor for the Gamecocks in this one. It is also important to note that Auburn’s rush defense is only giving up 108 yards per game. How will Lattimore fair? Oh, that will be fun to watch.
If South Carolina can find a way to win the football game, it could shatter Auburn’s National Title hopes – depending on the lovely BCS of course.
Can the Gamecocks bully one more team and play BCS buster?