GamecockCentral - South Carolina Football Gameday Guide: Gamecocks vs Auburn
{{ timeAgo('2020-10-17 08:40:31 -0500') }} football Edit

South Carolina Football Gameday Guide: Gamecocks vs Auburn

South Carolina (1-2, 1-2 SEC) vs Auburn (2-1, 2-1 SEC)

When: Saturday, Oct 17, 2020 - Noon ET

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium - Columbia, SC (77,559)

Television: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy, Holly Rowe)

Local Radio: Gamecock IMG Sports Network (Todd Ellis, Tommy Suggs, Jamar Nesbit)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 133/XM 191

Odds: Auburn -3 (O/U 52)

Weather: 60 degrees, clear skies

Today's Gameday Guide is presented by Market on Main! Still looking for a place to watch the game? Check out their watch party on their 23-foot LED screen. $10 cover charge to get in.

(Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Three key matchups vs. Vanderbilt - presented by Gamecock Traditions!  

Kevin Harris and Carolina running game against Auburn's front

Auburn's linebackers are fast and athletic, but they're not the biggest backers in the SEC and the Auburn defensive line has struggled at times this season after losing a ton of talent to the NFL.Kevin Harris has shown that he can be a bruiser at the SEC level and it feels like he can potentially wear down this defensive front. If he can, then it should mean a good day for the Carolina offense.

Collin Hill vs. Kevin Steele's blitzes

The South Carolina transfer quarterback has been really good against the blitz throughout his career and has shown the ability to diagnose it and get the ball out quickly for the most part at South Carolina as well.As mentioned above, Auburn's defensive line isn't what it was last year, and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele says that his two starting linebackers are his two best pass-rushers. He'll almost surely be bringing extra rushers against the Gamecocks.

Bo Nix's scrambling ability against the Gamecocks' edge rushers

Auburn quarterback Bo Nix is far from a run-first quarterback, but he's got the ability to extend plays and that's when he can really hurt defenses.Auburn's offensive line has struggled in pass-protection so far this year, so the Gamecocks will likely be able to get some pressure up front. But they'll need to contain the edges and keep Nix in the pocket to keep him from getting the ball down the field to their talented and speedy receivers.

More coverage from Gamecock Central    

Free

Nix, Schwartz present unique problems for Gamecock defense

The latest on Mukuamu, Thomas and Dickerson

Premium

Carolina Confidential - Final thoughts on Gamecocks vs Auburn

The Path to Victory: Gamecocks vs Tigers

Analytics Preview: Auburn - South Carolina ground games key

Buy or sell: Carolina making rushing history against Auburn?

Looking at matchups between Muschamp, Malzahn

Recruiting storylines: Gamecocks vs. Auburn

GC Live: Chris Clark, Wes Mitchell preview Auburn

Listen to Gamecock Central Podcasts on these platforms: Apple iTunes Podcasts | Spotify | PlayerFM | SoundCloud | Stitcher | iHeartRadio | Spreaker | YouTube

ALSO: more episodes | GC Radio app: App Store - Google Play

Quick notes from South Carolina Athletics     

CAROLINA VS. AUBURN: This is the 13th all-time meeting between South Carolina and Auburn, with the Tigers holding a commanding 10-1-1 advantage, including a 3-0 record when the games have been played in Columbia and a 4-0 mark when the teams have met in Auburn. The teams have also played at a neutral site on five occasions, with Auburn holding a 3-1-1 advantage in those contests, including the 2010 SEC Championship game. The teams met in four-consecutive years from 1930- 33, then did not meet again until 1996. The teams have played eight times as SEC opponents, with Auburn winning all eight contests.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET: South Carolina went into Jordan-Hare Stadium and pushed No. 5/6 Auburn to the brink in a shootout before falling 42-35 on Oct. 25, 2014. Dylan Thompson tied a school record with five touchdown passes for 402 yards in the loss. Pharoh Cooper was on the receiving end of seven passes for 127 yards. The Gamecock defense could not slow down the Tigers’ rushing attack, as Auburn logged 395 yards on the ground on 47 carries. South Carolina ran 86 plays to Auburn’s 62 and held the ball for 33:31, but the Tigers outgained the Gamecocks, 551-535.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET HERE: Auburn’s Philip Lutzenkirchen hauled in a 9-yard pass from Barrett Trotter with 1:38 left in the game to lift the Tigers to a 16-13 win over No. 10/9 South Carolina on Oct. 1, 2011 at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Tigers ran 92 plays and held the ball for nearly 36 minutes in the contest. Michael Dyer led Auburn with a game-high 141 yards rushing on a school-record 41 carries. The defenses combined to force eight turnovers. The Gamecocks were led by quarterback Stephen Garcia (9-23-2-160), tailback Marcus Lattimore (17-66, 1 TD) and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (5-86, 1 TD).

CLARY LEADS CAROLINA TO VICTORY: Under sixth-year head coach Billy Laval, the Gamecocks traveled to Birmingham on Dec. 2, 1933 to face national power Auburn in the season finale. Earl Clary was the hero, tackling an Auburn runner in the end zone for a, early 2-0 lead, then racing 56 yards for a second period score to make it 9-0 at the half. The Plainsmen roared back to take a 14-9 lead. Clary scampered for a 29-yard fourth-quarter score that lifted Carolina to a 16-14 win, in one of the Gamecocks’ greatest victories and quite a final curtain for the Gaffney Ghost. (courtesy The First Hundred Years)

SWEET HOME ALABAMA: Freshman tight end Eric Shaw is the only member of the Carolina team that hails from the Yellowhammer State. Shaw lists Reeltown as his hometown, about 30 miles west from the Auburn campus. He played his high school ball for the Reeltown Rebels.

FAMILY TIES: Several Gamecock coaches have ties to the Auburn program:

* Head coach Will Muschamp has had three stints at Auburn, first as a graduate assistant from 1995- 96, then as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach from 2006-07, and again as a defensive coordinator in 2015 under head coach Gus Malzahn.

* Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson played at Auburn, graduating in 2007. While at Auburn, he was the MVP of the Iron Bowl and was a first-team All-SEC selection. He worked as an Auburn graduate assistant from 2006-07 and was also a member of the 2015 Auburn coaching staff.

* Tight ends coach Bobby Bentley worked as an Auburn offensive analyst from 2014-15 under head coach Gus Malzahn.

* Special teams coordinator Kyle Krantz served as a defensive analyst on that same staff in 2015.

* Defensive line coach Tracy Rocker played at Auburn from 1985-88. He was a two-time All-American, won both the 1988 Outland Trophy and Lombardi awards, and was named the SEC Player of the Year in 1988. Rocker was an assistant coach at Auburn High School from 1992-93 and later spent two seasons as an Auburn University assistant coach (2009-10).

* Defensive analyst Demarco McNeil was an All-SEC defensive tackle for the Tigers. A four-year starter, McNeil was named to Auburn’s All-Decade team, and worked as a graduate assistant at his alma mater from 2007-08.

Depth chart  

OFFENSE

QUARTERBACK

15 Collin Hill - RsSr.

3 Ryan Hilinski - So.

4 Luke Doty - Fr.

NOTES: No changes to the QB depth chart this week.

RUNNING BACK

20 Kevin Harris - Fr.

14 Deshaun Fenwick - RsJr.

11 ZaQuandre White - RsJr.

NOTES: No changes to the RB depth chart this week.

WIDE RECEIVER

13 Shi Smith - So.

4 Luke Doty - Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER

17 Xavier Legette - So.

84 Rico Powers - Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER

6 Josh Vann - Jr.

5 Dakereon Joyner - RsSo.

89 Ger-Cari Caldwell - Fr.

NOTES: No changes to the WR depth chart this week.

LEFT TACKLE

75 Jazston Turnetine - Jr.

OR

79 Dylan Wonnum - Jr.

LEFT GUARD

50 Sadarius Hutcherson - RsSr.

76 Jordan Rhodes - RsJr.

CENTER

71 Eric Douglas - RsJr.

74 Vinny Murphy - RsFr.

RIGHT GUARD

54 Jovaughn Gwyn - RsFr.

68 Wyatt Campbell - RsSo.

RIGHT TACKLE

79 Dylan Wonnum - Jr.

OR

55 Jakai Moore - RsFr.

77 Vershon Lee - Fr.

52 Jaylen Nichols - So.

NOTES: The Gamecocks continue to work through their right tackle position. Redshirt freshman Jakai Moore started the first two games then Vershon Lee started last week but quickly gave way to Moore. This actually could be the week that the staff gives Jazston Turnetine a shot. If they do, then they'd start Dylan Wonnum at right tackle and Turnetine at left.

TIGHT END

9 Nick Muse - Sr.

82 KeShawn Toney - RsFr.

TIGHT END

80 Keveon Mullins - RsFr.

88 Will Register - RsJr.

NOTES: No changes to the tight end depth chart.

FULLBACK

46 Adam Prentice - RsSr.

48 Sean McGonigal Jr. - RsJr.

DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE END

15 Aaron Sterling - Jr.

91 Tonka Hemingway - Fr.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

5 Keir Thomas - Sr.

OR

6 Zacch Pickens - So.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

99 Jabari Ellis - RsSr.

90 Rick Sandidge - Jr.

BUCK

52 J.J. Enagbare - Jr.

3 Jordan Burch - Fr.

NOTES: No changes to the DL depth chart except to note that Zacch Pickens will start if Keir Thomas is not available. Thomas missed last week for unknown reasons but is expected back this week.

MIKE LINEBACKER

53 Ernest Jones - So.

45 Spencer Eason-Riddle - RsSr.

WILL LINEBACKER

30 Damani Staley - Sr.

32 Mohamed Kaba - Fr.

(OUT - 44 Sherrod Greene - USUAL STARTER - 4-6 wks with hip injury)

SAM LINEBACKER

19 Brad Johnson - RsJr.

45 Spencer Eason-Riddle - RsSr.

NOTES: No changes to the LB depth chart.

SAFETY

10 R.J. Roderick - Jr.

OR

24 Israel Mukuamu - Jr.

21 Shilo Sanders - RsFr.

SAFETY

7 Jammie Robinson - So.

4 Jaylin Dickerson - RsJr.

CORNERBACK

1 Jaycee Horn - Jr.

9 Cam Smith - RsFr.

CORNERBACK

24 Israel Mukuamu - Jr.

OR

22 John Dixon - So.

NICKEL

7 Jammie Robinson - So.

1 Jaycee Horn - Jr.

DIME

40 Jahmar Brown - So.

OR

10 R.J. Roderick - Jr.

NOTES: Izzy Mukuamu played just 14 snaps last week, which could be a sign that his groin injury is still bothering him. South Carolina has options here and Mukuamu is capable of playing cornerback or safety when healthy. He is considered a game-time decision. The Gamecocks will likely be in their nickel and dime packages quite a bit considering the spread looks that Auburn utilizes.

SPECIAL TEAMS

PLACE KICKER

43 Parker White - Jr.

98 Mitch Jeter - Fr.

PUNTER

39 Kai Kroeger - Fr.

36 Christian Kingsley - Sr.

DEEP SNAPPER

59 Matthew Bailey - RsFr.

9 Nick Muse - Sr.

HOLDER

39 Kai Kroeger - Fr.

36 Christian Kingsley - Sr.

PUNT RETURNER

1 Jaycee Horn - Jr.

OR

7 Jammie Robinson - So.

KICKOFF RETURNER

13 Shi Smith - Sr.

17 Xavier Legette - So.

NOTES: No changes to special teams.

Gamecock Central Staff Predictions    

Collyn Taylor: Y'all have fun without me this week. I'm a little busy. Auburn 24, South Carolina 21.

Will Helms: The numbers say Auburn wins by a touchdown. The matchups say it's closer than that. If South Carolina tackles well and takes advantage of a suspect Auburn offensive line, the Gamecocks win this game. Y'all know me though, I gotta trust the numbers. Auburn 27, South Carolina 21

Wes Mitchell: I've said all week that I expect this is going to be a tight fourth quarter game that will once again come down to who makes the big plays or who avoids the big mistakes.

The Gamecocks are riding high after the Vanderbilt win and this game is absolutely huge for the perception of this season. The Gamecocks are due to have one of these go their way. South Carolina 28, Auburn 24.

Michael Beckham: First of all congratulations Collyn. Now to the game:

On the surface, this looks to be a fairly even matchup, and if the Gamecocks were ever due vs an opponent, it's Auburn. Unfortunately for Carolina, I think Auburn got its wake up call last week, and until they prove they can beat the Tigers, I don't feel comfortable picking them to do it. Auburn 28, South Carolina 24

FOLLOW US: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | iTunes