It’s round two for Auburn and South Carolina, as these two faced off earlier in the season. That meeting resulted in a come-from-behind 35-27 win for the Tigers. Now they meet in the SEC Championship game, the first time since 1994 Auburn has played in the Conference title matchup.
The Tigers come in fresh of that wildly entertaining victory last week vs. Alabama in which they overcame a 24-0 deficit. Falling behind early only to rally for wins has become somewhat of a trademark for Auburn this season, as they’ve done it in eight of their 12 wins.
Sportsbook have this game set with Auburn as a 5.5-point favourite and a Total of 61.5. The Tigers have a record of 7-1 ATS versus conference opponents this season.
While Auburn fans are excitedly booking tickets to Arizona to watch their team in the BCS Championship game on January 10th, the Gamecocks have a real shot at upending all those plans. Coach Spurrier’s team already proved they can hang with the Tigers in that 35-27 loss in late September. It was four South Carolina turnovers that snapped the defeat from the jaws of victory, as they let Auburn off the hook.
The Gamecock defense has been impressive all season, and while controlling Cam Newton and Co. Is a very difficult proposition, if they can get some help from the offense, they could be up for the task. First off, they need the offense to stay on the field for long drives and not the turn the ball over. In fact, if QB Stephen Garcia can put together a performance similar to the first three quarters of the first meeting (235 yards passing, 3TDs and no interceptions) they have a legitimate shot at winning this game.
We specifically say the first three quarters, because things got ugly for Garcia in the fourth quarter. Not only for him but for backup QB Connor Shaw. Why was backup QB Shaw playing? After two fumbles in the fourth, the Old Ball Coach blew his lid and pulled Garcia, sending his backup in. Shaw promptly threw two interceptions in the Auburn red zone, sealing the comeback win for the Tigers.
It’s hard to see another total fourth quarter meltdown. South Carolina showed they can move the ball, now they just need to hang on to it. And they are the team with the better defense in this one.
To us, that adds up to a play on the underdog Gamecocks and who knows, they could win this one straight up, creating BCS chaos.
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