Auburn Football: Scouting the South Carolina Defense and Special Teams

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Oct 18, 2014; Columbia, SC, USA; The South Carolina Gamecocks enter the field before their game against the Furman Paladins at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

When the Auburn Tigers kick off against the South Carolina Gamecocks Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium, it will be a clash of one of the best offenses in the nation against one of the worst defenses, statistically speaking.

South Carolina, with a 4-3 overall record and a 2-3 mark against SEC opponents, has allowed an uncharacteristic 31.4 points per game through the first seven contests of the season, which ranks 13th in the league and 91st nationally. The Gamecocks have also had the SEC’s second-to-worst pass defense and run defense this season, and have allowed an average of 181.7 rushing yards and 239.6 passing yards per game to this point.

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Overall, opponents have been able to gash the Gamecocks for 421.3 total yards of offense per game this year, which is a major reason that Steve Spurrier’s team has underperformed through the first half of the year.

Ranked in the top ten at the beginning of the season and riding an 18-game home winning streak, South Carolina was immediately exposed in a 52-28 loss to Texas A&M on the season’s opening Thursday night. The Aggies make easy work of a retooled Carolina secondary that has proven to be a major problem area for the Gamecocks.

It hasn’t gotten much better for the USC defense. Despite close wins over a pair of good East Carolina and Georgia teams, and a too close for comfort 48-34 win over Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks dropped a pair of games they were supposed to win. The 21-20 loss to Missouri was actually the defense’s best performance this year, though the usually dependable offense failed to take advantage. The next week, Kentucky rolled up 447 yards of offense and 45 points.

Following an off week and a 45-10 win over FCS opponent Furman, the defense will once again have their hands full with an Auburn football squad that averages 38.8 points per game.

Next: South Carolina Gamecocks Defensive Line