Auburn Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks – College Football, October 17, 2020
The Tigers head to Columbia to battle Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks. Perhaps this isn’t the featured SEC matchup of the week, not nonetheless, it’s an extremely important game for both parties involved.
Let’s preview each side and establish an Auburn vs. South Carolina prediction.
Auburn vs. South Carolina Odds
Auburn is hovering as a three-point favorite at the safest sportsbooks online. The only reason the spread isn’t larger is because this game is taking place at Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks haven’t hosted the Tigers since 2011, and they haven’t beaten them since 1933.
A win over the hapless Commodores last weekend ended USC’s five-game skid (dating back to last season), while Gus Malzahn was extremely lucky to escape versus Arkansas.
All signs are pointing to a barnburner come Saturday.
Assessing the Tigers
At this point, Bo Nix is what he is. He completed under 58% of his throws as a freshman and clocks in at 56.8% three games into his sophomore campaign. Bo has thrown one touchdown in the last two games combined and nearly cost his team a shot at the eventual game-winning field goal against Arkansas.
Nobody is expecting Nix to win a Heisman Trophy, but the Auburn offense is averaging an anemic 199.0 passing yards per game.
It’s unlikely Malzahn sends Nix to the pine, as it’s more likely he puts an emphasis on force-feeding Tank Bigsby the rock. How that pans out against a mean front seven in Columbia remains to be seen.
Assessing the Gamecocks
Will Muschamp is eagerly looking for a W against his former boss (Muschamp was the DC at Auburn in 2015). He can count on his defense showing up in full force, so the question becomes, can Collin Hill sustain drives?
The Colorado State transfer has only thrown one pick on the year, but three passing touchdowns and 232.7 passing yards/game are nothing to write home about. The 6’4” senior has been sacked 10 times on the year signaling poor protection from the offensive line.
If there’s one thing Muschamp can hang his hat on, it’s that his defense figures to have the upper hand.
Auburn vs. South Carolina Pick
Trying to pinpoint who emerges at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday is difficult, and quite frankly, not something I have any interest in doing. The Auburn vs. South Carolina prediction I am comfortable committing to is the under.
Auburn’s offense is yet to demonstrate they can move the chains consistently – which doesn’t bode well versus the Gamecocks.
Auburn HC Gus Malzahn points out that South Carolina has the best third-down defense in the SEC so far this season. That has been a problem area for the Tigers.— Justin Ferguson (@JFergusonAU) October 13, 2020
As stout as South Carolina’s D is, their offense is (and will continue to be) a work in progress.
It won’t always be pretty, but this could very well end up as one of the best college football games to watch this week.