Auburn vs. South Carolina: 3 Things We Learned About the Tigers

John PattonContributor IOctober 2, 2011

Auburn vs. South Carolina: 3 Things We Learned About the Tigers

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    As far as rematches go, this one was the total opposite of last year.

    On its way to winning the BCS national title, the Auburn Tigers pounded South Carolina 56-17 in the 2010 SEC Championship Game.

    The two schools met up again on Saturday, and this time around, it was a defensive struggle, won 16-13 by visiting Auburn.

    It wasn't the prettiest of contests, but it did allow two talented teams to test themselves on a day when neither was at its best.

    Here are three things we either learned or had reinforced about the Tigers.

Michael Dyer Is a Workhorse

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    Overshadowed by Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton and standout defensive tackle Nick Fairley during last season's BCS title run, Michael Dyer still was someone highly respected by opponents.

    On Saturday afternoon against the 10th-ranked Gamecocks, Dyer was the focus of the Tigers' offense, as he carried a career-high 41 times for 141 yards and a touchdown.

The Run Defense Was Outstanding

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    South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore entered the contest leading the SEC in rushing and has been included on many lists of early Heisman candidates.

    However, the Tigers slowed Lattimore considerably, allowing the sophomore just 66 yards and a score on 17 carries. He also lost a pair of fumbles.

Barrett Trotter Is a Work-in-Progress

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    Barrett Trotter, Auburn's junior quarterback, didn't have a great day, but he did have an unforgettable finish.

    For the contest Trotter was just 12-of-23 for 112 yards and two interceptions. He also was sacked four times.

    However, his nine-yard touchdown pass to Phillip Lutzenkirchen with 1:38 left in the contest proved to be the game-winner.