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Auburn Football 2010: Steve Spurrier and South Carolina To Invade the Plains

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Auburn Football 2010: Steve Spurrier and South Carolina To Invade the Plains
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

Auburn hosts South Carolina this week in what is a very important game for both teams this season. South Carolina defeated a pesky Furman team on Saturday. Auburn is a three point favorite in the game. Auburn is 6-1-1 in the series and has won the last four meetings.

South Carolina thinks they have the best team of the Steve Spurrier era this year. They have an impressive SEC win over Georgia already this season. They are led by quarterback Steven Garcia who is averaging 190 yards of total offense per game thus far. Marcus Lattimore is their leading running back averaging 111 yards per game. Alshon Jeffery is their leading receiver averaging 102 receiving yards per game.

Injury News

Right tackle A.J. Greene was injured in Saturday's game and will not return this season. John Sullen, Brandon Mosley and Roszell Gayden are all possible replacements. Sullen replaced him for the remainder of the Clemson game.

Onterio McCalebb was knocked out of Saturday's game. He is fine and was showing recruits around campus after the game. He will play next Saturday.

Clemson's Kyle Parker is nicked up, but is expected to play against Miami.

David Smith, the Clemson offensive lineman that left the game, suffered a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least one game.

This Week's Comparison

All statistics in yards or points unless otherwise specified.

Statistic

Auburn 2010

Auburn v Clemson

South Carolina v Furman

South Carolina 2010

Passing Offense

200.67

203

192

194

Passing Efficiency Index Rating

191.48

190.4

141

141.42

Yards Per Completion

20.06

29

11.29

11.87

Rushing Offense

259.33

221

182

198.33

Yards Per Carry

5.48

4.7

4.55

4.69

Total Offense

460

424

374

392.33

Scoring Offense

32 points per game

27

38

32

Punt Returns

7.11

3

0

8

Kick Returns

24.46

24.6

11.8

17.91

Sacks Allowed

1.67 per game

2

2

3

Rushing Defense

115.67

187

51

59.67

Passing Defense

226.33

227

274

267.67

Pass Efficiency Defense

113.37

 

 

126.37

Total Defense

342

414

325

327.33

Scoring Defense

21.33

24

19

12.67

Turnover Margin

-1.33

-2

0

0.33

Net Punting

34.93

35.2

31.6

36.5

Sacks

2.67 per game

1

7

3.67

Tackles For Loss

8.33 per game

8

11

6.33

Auburn goes into this week of game preparation still having questions about offensive ball distribution and defensive pass coverage. It looked as if the offensive drought that began in the second half of the Mississippi State game ended in the second half of the Clemson game.

The 2010 Auburn team has yet to gel and start playing to their potential. While this Auburn team is not playing championship caliber football so far, there has not been a single team that has in my opinion. It is early and Auburn simply needs to continue winning. The team is improving on a weekly basis and will continue to get better as the season moves along.

South Carolina has been preparing for this trip to Jordan-Hare for two weeks. They chose to call in the game against Furman and prepare for Auburn. The South Carolina defense simply blitzed the Furman offense into submission while allowing them to rack up 17 points and 374 yards of offense.

The South Carolina receiving corps has a three to six inch height advantage on Auburn's secondary. Auburn has a significant speed advantage on both offense and defense. South Carolina has a north-south running game that is of the type that Auburn has success stopping cold.

Spurrier will attempt to use the height advantage of his receiving corps to move the ball dawn the field using short and mid-range passing plays and screens. He will attempt to keep the Auburn defense honest by running some rushing plays between the tackles.

It will be essential for Auburn's defensive line to contain Garcia and apply pressure. If this is done, it will blow up the South Carolina offense.

Auburn has a significant speed advantage on offense. This should be a game where Cameron Newton can shine in the passing game. It is unlikely that South Carolina will be able to contain him in the pocket.

What Should Occur

The Auburn defensive line should dominate in this game. South Carolina has an undersized but athletic defensive line that has proved to be difficult to block.

Auburn should be able to run and pass the ball on this team. South Carolina has all the tools necessary to challenge the Auburn defensive secondary. The Tigers should be a little too much to handle in this one.  

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