South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Auburn Tigers Preview and Picks

South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Auburn Tigers Preview and Picks
South Carolina Gamecocks
(3-0, 2-1 ATS)
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Auburn Tigers Preview and Picks
Auburn Tigers
(3-0, 1-2 ATS)

 

SEC rivals will give each other their sternest test of the season in the SEC undercard battle of the week, as the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Auburn Tigers meet in NCAA football betting warfare at Jordan Hare Stadium.

South Carolina has been a dominant team this year, and we are willing to give it a pass for failing to knock off the Furman Paladins by enough points to cover the college football odds. The defense has done a tremendous job against opposing ground attacks this year, ranking sixth in the country with 59.7 yards per game allowed. This will obviously be a crucial factor in this game, as Auburn is going to present the Gamecocks with a test on defense like they have not seen this year. The offense has been respectable, but not fantastic for HC Steve Spurrier, which is all that he really needs when his defense has been this good. RB Marcus Lattimore has been an absolute beast all season long, rushing the ball 70 time for 333 yards and five scores. QB Stephen Garcia has been preached at to protect the football for his entire career, and now is no exception either. He has thrown two picks against two TD passes in three games, but the two rushing scores he has helps ease the pain. All told though, Garcia has completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 508 yards, numbers that are going to be good enough to carry the Cocks through a lot of tough games this season.

Auburn’s QB Cameron Newton is going to be facing his second straight very severe test when he takes on this South Carolina defense. The Clemson Tigers had him under wraps last week, but when push really came to shove, Newton came through and led Auburn to 24 straight points that ultimately helped lead it to the 27-24 overtime victory. Newton has accounted for 834 yards of offense and nine TDs against three picks this year. Though the rushing game is key for the Tigers, they are going to be relying on Newton to do what he has done all season long, and that’s hit open receivers for big plays. He is averaging 11.2 yards per pass attempt this season, a number which is ridiculous for a major college quarterback running an even remotely pro style of offense. RBs Onterio McCalebb and Michael Dyer have been warned about the strength of South Carolina’s defense all week long, but both have over 200 yards rushing and a TD apiece on the year, and both will be expected to grind out those gritty yards against a defense that is tough to move against.

This is one of the more interesting games of the day. The Tigers certainly have the more explosive offense, but on defense, the Gamecocks have the edge. We tend to believe that the Garcia to WR Alshon Jeffrey combination can be the difference in the game, and we think that it will be one big hook up for South Carolina that changes everything. Cocky makes its first big statement in years to the rest of the SEC East that it is indeed not only a contender for the division crown, but the conference crown and the National Championship as well.

Selection: South Carolina Gamecocks +3