South Carolina lost to Auburn 16-13
Breaking it Down…1st Quarter…South Carolina took the opening kick off and proceeded to go three and out. Auburn then drove inside the South Carolina 5 yard line but had to settle for a field goal and a 3-0 lead. The Gamecocks didn't answer until Antonio Allen's interception set up the offense. Stephen Garcia then found Alshon Jeffrey for a 50 yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked, but the Gamecocks led 6-3.
Read more after the break.
2nd Quarter…Michael Dyer scored for Auburn from 1 yard out to cap a drive that spanned both quarters. Auburn then bounced its extra point attempt off the upright to leave the score 9-6. The Gamecocks struggled to move the ball all quarter while Auburn did have some success. Auburn set up for a field goal from the South Carolina 15, but faked it. The plan backfired when Melvin Ingram intercepted the pass. The Gamecocks then ran out the half.
3rd Quarter…Both teams exchanged punts to start the second half. Auburn punted a second time and interfered with the return man. That penalty set USC up at the fifty yard line. Garcia then found Bruce Ellington over the middle for 35 yards, and Marcus Lattimore ran it in from 15 on the next play. The successful extra point gave the Gamecocks a 13-9 lead. Auburn punted on their next possession. South Carolina picked up a first down before Garcia threw an interception. On the next Auburn drive Barrett Trotter was intercepted by C.C. Whitlock, but on the return Whitlock fumbled, and Auburn recovered.
4th Quarter…Whitlock later ended the same drive by making a second interception in the end zone. South Carolina then picked up a first down before punting. Auburn followed suit by punting after one first down. South Carolina then went three and out. Auburn then drove 57 yards on 12 plays, converting 4 out of 4 third downs along the way, to score the game winning touchdown. South Carolina moved the ball 50 yards and picked up 4 first downs, but time ran out on the last play before the ball could be spiked or the field goal team could come on.
Stars of the Game…Alshon Jeffery…5 rec., 86 yards, TD…Melvin Ingram…11 tackles, (4.5 TFL), 3.5 sacks, interception, 2 QB hurries…Antonio Allen…13 tackles, (3 TFL), QB hurry…C.C. Whitlock…2 interceptions…
What to Take Away From the Game…There's no gentle way to put this: South Carolina didn't play well on Saturday and lost to a team that they still appear to be better than. The defense didn't play badly at all, but the offense sure did. Play calling was predictable and ineffective. Marcus Lattimore didn't get as many touches as usual and wasn't outstanding with the ones he did get. Stephen Garcia played better at times but didn't play as well as this team needs him to. The line shares in the blame for this game. Kyle Nunn's absence was acutely felt especially at the end of the game.
The offense simply must improve if the Gamecocks are going to have a successful season. There is plenty of blame to go around. Quarterback play hasn't been up to par. (It also hasn't been as bad as many fans make it out to be.) The O-line hasn't been terrible, but they haven't been as good as needed. The wide receivers have to do more to get open and break up bad throws. There isn't one area that needs a 180 degree change, but many areas need improvement.
The coaches have good games and bad games just like the players. Saturday was not a good coaching game, offensively anyway. That must improve in the coming weeks. There is still time for it to improve, so it's not time to panic yet, but Kentucky must be defeated, so the team can be 5-1 before going on the road for 3 games.
This and that…South Carolina falls to 4-1 (2-1)…The Gamecocks fall to #14 in the Coaches Poll and #18 in the AP…Auburn out gained South Carolina 358-289…South Carolina was only 2 of 10 on third downs…Auburn converted 11 of 22 third downs…Auburn had an 11 minute advantage in time of possession 35:47 to 24:13...
Up next…South Carolina hosts Kentucky at Williams-Brice Stadium at 12:21