Posted by Josh Kendall on October 24, 2014
The clichéd trio of Readin’, Ritin’ and Rithmetic won’t do South Carolina any good Saturday, but another three Rs will play a big role in the Gamecocks showdown with No. 5 Auburn.
In order, they are:
Run. Auburn is going to do it often, and the Tigers do it well. Auburn averages 5.5 yards per carry, which is the third-highest in the SEC. The Gamecocks give up 5.32 yards per carry, the worst in the SEC. Advantage, Auburn, and in a big way. South Carolina may try to combat that advantage with their own running game in an attempt to hold onto the ball for long stretches of time and keep the Tigers offense on the sideline. Auburn is fifth in the SEC in yards allowed per carry (3.34). The Gamecocks average 4.83 yards per carry, seventh-best in the league.
Road. South Carolina has run hot and cold on the road recently. The Gamecocks will be playing in front of nearly 90,000, almost certainly the biggest crowd they will see this season. Offensive communication and poise will be at a premium. That’s another reason to lean on the running game, where communication with far flung wide receivers is at less of a premium. This particular road trip is particularly troubling for South Carolina, which has never won in Jordan-Hare Stadium. In fact, the Gamecocks are 1-9-1 all-time against the Tigers.
Red zone. Here’s some hope. South Carolina leads the SEC in red zone conversion, scoring 96.4 percent of their 28 trips inside an opponent’s 20-yard line. The Gamecocks touchdown percentage is seventh in the league, with 19 touchdowns in 28 trips. Field goals don’t turn into big upsets on the road. South Carolina needs touchdowns today, so expect more fourth-down attempts. Auburn is second in the SEC in red zone defense (69.6 percent) but not quite as stout in touchdown percentage in the red zone (sixth in SEC).
The sum of all this? Auburn 35, South Carolina 24
Around the SEC:
Mark Richt is “optimistic” he’ll have his star tailback back against Florida. Everyone in Athens seems to be, but they were also expecting a very quick ruling on that and we’re into Day 3 now with no word.
Tennessee may play three quarterbacks against Alabama due to Justin Worley’s poor health. This game is going to get so ugly.
So, who thinks Dak Prescott will leave this year for the NFL Draft? (Hand raised.)
We have debated on our live chats about taking the ball when you win the toss vs. deferring. Here, Nick Saban discusses what goes into his decision making for the kickoff.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on October 24, 2014
Rotoworld.com NFL Draft writer Josh Norris joins us this week to talk about several interesting things concerning the Auburn Tigers.
Posted by Josh Kendall on October 23, 2014
Shaq Roland is one of three South Carolina players to be suspended from the last two games. It's a streak the Gamecocks need to stop this week against Auburn.
Posted on October 23, 2014
Miss our live Q&A with GoGamecocks' Josh Kendall from Thursday? Read it here.
Posted by JOSH KENDALL on October 22, 2014
ESPN.com sports gaming writer David Purdum joined us this week to talk about why a big starting line in the South Carolina-Auburn game wasn’t big enough for the betting public as well as significant movement in this year’s South Carolina-Clemson line.
Posted by Josh Kendall on October 22, 2014
The Tigers could be looking past South Carolina to a second half schedule that Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson says could be a nightmare.