How did South Carolina perform vs. Auburn
Nov. 20, 2021
Positives and Negatives Game 9: South Carolina vs. Auburn
Here’s a look at went wrong and right for the South Carolina football team in its 21-17 win over Auburn in Columbia.
QB Jason Brown: The night started little gloomy for the former third-string quarterback, who took an ill-advised deep shot down the middle of the field that was picked off in the end zone by Auburn safety Donovan Kaufman. But Brown manage to make up the mistakes from that point forward, playing clean football and making the most of his limited pass attempts. Though the Gamecocks leaned on its running backs, Brown was efficient with his throws, connecting on nine of his first 11 passes for three touchdowns. He finished with 157 yards, completing 10 of his 15 attempts.
OL Trai Jones: Jones an offensive lineman, deserves a nod for catching that 3-yard touchdown pass after lining up at fullback at the goal-line. Jones doesn’t see the field often, he’s made a positive impact in the Gamecocks running game by providing extra blocking support in the backfield as a fullback.
The Gamecock secondary: Auburn quarterback Bo Nix out due to ankle surgery, Auburns passing game took a hit. Backup quarterback T.J. Finley, a 6-foot-7, 246-pound physical player. Did hurt the Gamecocks in his first career start in 2020, at that time he was playing for LSU. Now with Auburn, Finley had a tougher go of it against Clayton White’s defense with the Gamecocks taking away his down-the-field options for much of the night. Auburn mostly leaned on its running game as Finley completed 17 of 32 passes for 188 yards.
The running game: With QB Jason Brown throwing an early first-quarter interception in the end zone, the Gamecocks quickly turned to their ground game to get the offense moving. Both ZaQuandre White and Kevin Harris ran the ball like on a mission against Auburn Tigers, the two of them picked up chunks of yard’s with both averaging more than 5 yards per carry in the first half. White got the Gamecocks on the board first, catching a short pass from Brown and racing 28 yards down the left sideline into the end zone. And White helped set up the team’s second score with strong running inside the red-zone, setting up a short trick pass to 305-pound offensive lineman Trai Jones. White finished the night with 99 rushing yards on 16 attempts and 69 receiving yards on three catches, while Harris added 63 yards on 13 carries.
Rushing defense: Going up against running back Tank Bigsby is not an easy task for any defense, the Gamecocks struggled to contain him Saturday. Coming into the contest averaging 5 yards per carry with nine rushing touchdowns, Bigsby sliced and diced through the the Gamecocks defense en route to 164 rushing yards on 22 carries and a rushing touchdown. Auburn rushed for 191 yards overall.
Pass protection: The pass protection from the Gamecocks offensive line has been an area of concern for much of the season, and that was the case again Saturday, as Brown spent much of the game trying to escape from a collapsing pocket. Brown was scrambling from the very beginning of the game, Brown was sacked three times in the first half for a loss of 12 yards.
Third-down efficiency: Here was another area of weakness for the Gamecocks offense for much of the season, the Gamecocks had difficulty finishing drives and executing on third downs. The Gamecocks failed to convert any of its first four third-down attempts and finished the game just one for eight from third down.