” Auburn kept its SEC championship hopes alive, but it wasn’t easy Saturday night against South Carolina.
Steve Spurrier was in a gambling mood in Jordan-Hare Stadium, and for the most part his play calls worked. Luckily for Auburn, its defense stood tall in the fourth quarter and the Tigers held on for a 42-35 victory.
It was an entertaining game, even if Auburn fans are probably checking their heart rates this morning.
As you wait for the new rankings to be released this afternoon, check out what they’re saying across the country about Auburn after its 42-35 victory:
- Where’s Auburn going to be in the polls? A top 4 ranking is the prediction from CBSSports.com
- Jerry Palm has Auburn in the Capital One Bowl (CBSSports.com)
- Gamecocks fall just short in slugfest that was ‘almost a fun one’ for Spurrier (The State)
- Pharoh Cooper shows off triple threat (The State)
- USC defense bad, and getting worse (The State)
- Thumbs up, thumbs down from USC-Auburn (The State)
- Two-thirds of a South Carolina team not enough at Auburn, or beyond (Post and Courier)
- Thompson turns receiver on trick play (Post and Courier)
The game by the numbers from the Tiger’s website :
Quick Stats AU SC Total Plays 62 86 1st Downs 25 30 3rd down efficiency 6-8 6-14 4th down efficiency 0-0 5-6 Total Yards 551 535 Passing Yards 156 416 Comp-Att 13-15 30-53 Yards per pass 10.4 3.6 Rushing Yards 395 119 Rushing attempts 47 33 Yards per rush 8.4 3.6 Penalties-Yards 4-53 4-20 Turnovers 1 3 Fumbles lost 1 0 Interceptions thrown 0 3 Time of Possession 26:29 33:31
” It was a wild, wild game, and Auburn’s Nick Marshall, Cameron Artis-Payne and Ricardo Louis needed every yard, every foot, of their monster offensive performances Saturday night to beat South Carolina 42-35 in Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Artis-Payne, the tailback, and Louis, a receiver, each rushed for more than 100 yards and Marshall accounted for four touchdowns and more than 200 total yards as the Tigers smashed their way to 551 yards of offense in a see-saw game that ended with Auburn on top.
Auburn didn’t take the lead until the third quarter, then didn’t take the lead for good until the fourth. South Carolina threw in the end zone on the game’s final play. The pass was intercepted.
When the yards were tallied, a whopping total of 1,086 of them with 55 first downs, Auburn improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina fell to 4-4 overall and 2-4 in the league.
The No. 5 Tigers will likely move up in the national rankings as well after LSU beat No. 3 Ole Miss 10-7. Auburn will play the Rebels in Oxford next Saturday.
This Saturday, there were tricks plays and determined efforts. The Gamecocks converted their first five fourth-down tries, but missed on one critical one on a throw in the end zone in the fourth quarter. Carolina had the ball as the game ended, or until Jonathan Jones intercepted the final last throw.
” They went for everything and they got just about everything. They executed when they had to,” said Auburn’s Gus Malzahn.
Auburn took its first lead at 28-21 in the third, on a 5-yard Marshall touchdown run. South Carolina tied it right back up less than two minutes later when Dylan Thompson hit a streaking Pharoh Cooper on a 51-yard scoring play.
The Tigers were unfazed. Louis raced 75 yards for a touchdown a few seconds later. By then, Auburn had 440 yards, of which a whopping 340 came on the ground, with 7:29 left in the third quarter.
Auburn led 35-28. Until South Carolina tied it again on a Dylan Thompson-to-Nick Jones touchdown pass with 2:20 left in the third quarter.
Artis-Payne rushed for 167 yards on 25 carries and Louis had 102 yards on three carries. Marshall was 12-of-14 passing for 139 yards, and rushed for 89 yards and three touchdowns.
It was an offensive night, for sure. The two teams combined for 894 yards through the first three quarters.
South Carolina was on the doorstep of another score until Jonathan Jones intercepted Thompson in the end zone with 13:17 remaining. Two minutes later, Marshall was scoring on a 9-yard run for a 42-35 Auburn lead.
It was a wild first half, with South Carolina going for it, and making it, on fourth down on a touchdown drive; with a blocking tight end catching his first pass in a year for an Auburn touchdown; and with third-string quarterback Jonathan Wallace catching a toss from Marshall then throwing back to Marshall with his first pass since last season for a 17-yard gain.
Oh, yeah. There were those equally-divided 42 first-half points with Auburn averaging 8.1 yards a snap and South Carolina averaging 7.6.
South Carolina led 7-0, 14-7 and 21-14. Each time, Auburn had an answer, mixing in the pass with a strong running game to match the Gamecocks every step of the way.
South Carolina was first up, scoring on its first drive when Dylan Thompson threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Shaq Rolland. Auburn tied it when Marshall hit Brandon Fulse with a 3-yard TD pass, his first catch since last year late in the first quarter.
Carolina went back up when Thompson hit Cooper with a 16-yard TD pass. Auburn countered with a 2-yard touchdown run by Cameron Artis-Payne. The Tigers then held Carolina, but Quan Bray fumbled after a nice punt return to set up the Gamecocks for a 27-yard touchdown pass from Thompson to Mike Davis.
That made it South Carolina 21-14 with 5:05 left in the second quarter. Auburn came back with the Marshall-to-Wallace-to-Marshall trickery, then Marshall raced 37 yards up the middle for a touchdown to tie the game 21-21 with 2:35 left in the half.
The teams got there in different ways. Auburn had 277 yards, 203 of which game running. South Carolina had 267 yards, 211 via the pass. “
War Eagle !