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Darvin Adams has become the go-to guy for Cam Newton. However, Emory Blake has had a lot of success since he has faced a bunch of single coverage. Look for Blake to go up against this 99th-ranked pass defense.
Matchup of the Game:
Ladi Ajiboye has to play a big factor in this game, similar to the way Marcell Dareius did for the Crimson Tide. If he can clog up the middle of the line and be a menace, then the Tigers will struggle to run the ball. However, with all that speed on the outside it is imperative that Cocky can shut down the run with everything up front.
Why SC can win:
They have a few All-Americans in Alshon Jeffrey and Marcus Lattimore. Jeffrey must be able to rip apart the Tigers secondary, but more importantly Lattimore must be able to control the clock and run for over 100 yards. Also, Stephen Garcia was in a sling late in the game against Clemson, but he will be just fine. If he can avoid turning the ball over so much to the point that Spurrier has to take him out again, then the Gamecocks can flat out win this game.
Also, regarding Mr. Garcia and "The Ol' Ball Coach," this is their chance to leave a definitive mark on their careers at South Carolina, and the vibrations of a Gamecock victory would be felt throughout college football.
Why Auburn can win:
Cam Newton has come out on top when all the chips have been down. He shut up the naysayers all season long, and even when he has not had great games (Clemson & Miss St) the team has still found a way to win. Simply put, they have the two best players in College Football. Nick Fairley is an absolute freak and can wreak havoc against any team in America.
The linebackers are fast and ferocious. The secondary, despite what the stats say, is better than average. This team has been used to trailing at halftime, yet they still come away with the Ws. Cam Newton has been the most dominating player in college since Vince Young and Reggie Bush.
You could argue he means more to his team than both of those all-time greats. Cam Newton can run, he can throw, he can flat out do it all. He has a top 5 offensive line and a great backfield led by Onterrio McCalebb and Michael Dyer. Those guys can hit the homerun on any given play.
This game should be back and forth early on if Auburn were to turn it over, but at the end of the day the best team in America should find a way to pull it out thanks to the foot of Wes Byrum and the speed and strength of Cam Newton.
Impact of Game:
The winner will be in the BCS regardless of what happens around the nation. However, if Auburn wins they will play in the BCS Title Game. The question becomes if they lose do they still get in over a TCU, Wisconsin or Stanford?
South Carolina goes to the Sugar Bowl and knocks out Arkansas with a victory. If the Gamecocks lose, an Outback Bowl is likely against most likely Penn State or the Iowa Hawkeyes. Auburn should once again pull out another thriller.
Danny V's Pick: AUBURN 38 SOUTH CAROLINA 27
JFAV's Pick: AUBURN 34 SOUTH CAROLINA 31