South Carolina at #5 Auburn Preview and Predictions

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Who: South Carolina Gamecocks (4-3, 2-3 SEC) at #5 Auburn Tigers (5-1, 2-1 SEC)

When: 6:30 p.m. C.T. (SEC Network)

Where: Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama

All-Time Series Record: Auburn leads 9-1-1

Most Recent Meeting: Auburn 16, South Carolina 13 (2011)

An unbeaten season came to a halt on the road against an SEC West power thanks to a sloppy first quarter that put the Tigers too far behind to rally. Fortunately, a bye week follows the road loss, and the Tigers host an SEC foe, providing an opportunity to gain momentum for the upcoming tough stretch.

Sound familar? Well, it should. The 2013 Tigers faced the same adversity after a road loss at LSU. They responded with nine straight wins, two miracle finishes, an SEC championship and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game.

That’s not a good sign for underachieving South Carolina.

Also not a good sign for South Carolina is their struggling defense, which gives up 421 yards of offense per game (239 passing, 181 rushing), good for 86th in the FBS and 13th in the SEC (ahead of Texas A&M). They allow 31.4 points per game, also 13th in the SEC (ahead of Vanderbilt).

That’s not a good sign against a powerful Tigers offense. Auburn’s offense looked mostly terrible against Mississippi State’s strong defense and still gained 441 yards and 25 first downs.

For South Carolina to pull an upset and ruin Auburn’s national title hopes, they’ll need a strong showing on defense. Can they get it?