Auburn Football 2010: Auburn Meets South Carolina in Atlanta

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Auburn Football 2010: Auburn Meets South Carolina in Atlanta
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

There is no need to rehash the Iron Bowl, the Tigers won and that is the most important factor. Fans must accept that the offense looked stagnant and the offensive line play was less than inspired. This needs to change if the team plans to win in Atlanta.

These are new circumstances for the Auburn Tigers. There will be much speculation of what will happen if the top-ranked Tigers are upset in Atlanta. This is simply to generate excitement and wonder for the fans of so many teams that are out of the BCS Championship picture at this point.

Pundits have repeatedly mentioned that South Carolina has improved since playing Auburn the first time. This is possible, both teams have played a tougher schedule since that point. That was Week 4 of the season, and this is Week 14. Fans can take a quick look and see if this might be true.

Statistic

South Carolina before Auburn

South Carolina 2010 Season

Total Offense

392.33 yards

394.67 yards

Scoring Offense

32 points

33.25 points

Total Defense

327.33 yards

338.67 yards

Scoring Defense

12.67 points

20.17 points

Improvement is in the eyes of the beholder. South Carolina has yet to hold a good offense under 30 points this year. They have played three good offenses on the season and lost to all three. How has Auburn progressed since the South Carolina Game?

Statistic

Auburn before South Carolina

Auburn 2010 Season

Total Offense

460 yards

490.08 yards

Scoring Offense

32 points

41.58 points

Total Defense

339.67 yards

363.25 yards

Scoring Defense

21.33 points

25.08 points

Auburn has played the much tougher schedule since the two teams met earlier this year. South Carolina will be the sixth currently ranked opponent Auburn has faced this season. Auburn will be the fourth currently ranked team South Carolina has faced this season.

Auburn will be the ninth team South Carolina has played without a break. Auburn has played one game since having an off week. South Carolina is somewhat fatigued and a little gimpy in places. Auburn is healthy and rested.

Auburn came out a little rusty and out of sync on offense in their last game. South Carolina looked like the Gamecocks have all season long against Clemson.

Most of the media hatred will subside now. The agendas different media outlets were pushing has subsided or been decided at this point. Boise State crumbled under pressure and that was the dark horse many were pushing. Oregon, TCU, Stanford and Wisconsin are actually less of a national brand than Auburn and not as attractive for ESPN.

A Few Thoughts

  1. Auburn fans can stop worrying about the Cam Newton situation. The NCAA is simply doing a basic eligibility investigation on Cam Newton. The investigation has progressed in a slow and methodical way since July of this year. Nothing new has come out in over a month.

  2. The picture being hyped by the media does not resemble any investigation the NCAA has ever took part in. There is no chance the media has this right, or has the NCAA decision figured out. This has been the most reported story with the least accurate information ever.

  3. Steve Spurrier does not give South Carolina any more benefit in the SEC Championship game than he did in Jordan-Hare Stadium earlier this year. Auburn will have a huge crowd advantage there as well.

  4. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    The SEC Championship game will actually be less distracting than the Iron Bowl. The environment will actually be quite friendly toward Auburn and the team. This is the hometown of Cam Newton.

A Quick Look at the Two Teams

Now it is time to take a hard look at these two teams. Some things can change with time, but some will remain the same. Football teams seldom completely change their identity over the course of a season. These are basically the same two teams that played in Week 4.

  1. Auburn will be able to run on South Carolina.

  2. South Carolina will not be able to run on Auburn.

  3. Both teams will be able to pass effectively in this game.

  4. Auburn will have the advantage on both the offensive and defensive lines.

  5. South Carolina has a distinct advantage in receiving.

  6. The Auburn defensive line will wear down the South Carolina offensive line as the game moves along.

Statistic

Auburn

South Carolina

Does Auburn or South Carolina win in Atlanta?

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Rushing Offense

291.25 yards

155.5 yards

Average Per Carry

6.24 yards

4.6 yards

Passing Offense

198.83 yards

239.17 yards

Average Per Pass Attempt

10.28 yards

8.97 yards

Total Offense

490.08 yards

394.67 yards

Average Per Play

7.43 yards

6.07 yards

Scoring Offense

41.58 points

33.25 points

Sacks Allowed

1.75 per game

2.08 per game

Tackles For Loss Allowed

5.25 per game

5.5 per game

Red Zone Offense

88 percent

86 percent

Third Down Conversion Rate

51.13 percent

49.68 percent

 

 

 

Rushing Defense

108 yards

93.17 yards

Average Allowed Per Play

3.36 yards

2.54 percent

Pass Defense

255.25 yards

245.5 yards

Average Allowed Per Play

6.95 yards

7.19 yards

Total Defense

363.25 yards

338.67 yards

Average Allowed Per Play

5.27 yards

5.14 yards

Scoring Defense

25.08 points

20.17 points

Sacks

2.5 per game

3.25 per game

Tackles For Loss

6.83 per game

7.25 per game

Red Zone Defense

87 percent

69 percent

Third Down Conversions Allowed Percentage

37.18 percent

37.79 percent

 

 

 

Net Punting

34.67 yards

37.33 yards

Kick Returns

24.41 yards

20.58 yards

Punt Returns

6 yards

3.65 yards

Kick Coverage

19.85 yards

20.85 yards

Punt Coverage

5.5 yards

8.04 yards

 

 

 

Turnovers Lost

14 total

19 total

Turnovers Gained

18 total

24 total

 

 

 

Time Of Possession

28:51:00 minutes

31:25:00 minutes

First Downs

24 per game

20.5 per game

Penalties Yards Lost

54.5 per game

41.17 per game

What to Expect

There is very little difference between the effectiveness of these two defenses. There is a rather large advantage for Auburn on offense. This advantage is in scoring, passing and rushing.

South Carolina has no answer for the Auburn defensive line. This will be a very big factor in Saturday's game. South Carolina has very little chance of controlling the Auburn rushing offense. If they do find a way to control the Auburn rushing offense, the Auburn passing offense will be effective.

South Carolina will have a window of opportunity starting in the first quarter. If they go into the half with less than a 21-point advantage, it will be difficult for them to win. If Auburn starts executing on offense early, this game could easily become a high scoring affair.

Auburn should win this game in a bigger way than they did the first meeting. The best chance for South Carolina is to simply outscore Auburn in a track meet, and the Gamecocks are simply not that kind of offensive team.  

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