The Auburn Tigers (2-1) survived a scare against a better than expected Arkansas team on Saturday by hitting a late field goal. Next up is a South Carolina Gamecocks (1-2) side that beat up Vanderbilt for their first win last weekend. Here are the three keys to a win over South Carolina.
By Steve Wright
More from Bo Nix
The form of Bo Nix has been frustrating so far in 2020. Much was expected from Nix in his second year under center, but his play has trended more towards average than outstanding. Nix has yet to eclipse to 500-yard passing mark for the season after three games and he has tossed just five touchdown passes. The best part of Nix’s game has probably been his ability to avoid killer mistakes, with the sophomore having thrown just one interception so far. Against South Carolina an average performance here – as long as the rest of the team is clicking – will likely be enough.
Prepare for a slog
There is nothing particularly explosive or interesting about this South Carolina team. The Gamecocks are 1-2 – and their win was against a Vandy team short on players – but it is a team that knows how it has to play to win games. Expect South Carolina to play low tempo and try to dominate the time of possession. They have had the ball for over 34 minutes per game this season by not making mistakes and by getting off of the field on third down. Collin Hill – like Nix – has just one pick on the season and if they are allowed to find a rhythm then this game could become a problem.
Keep history on Auburn’s side
One of the craziest stats in the SEC is that South Carolina last beat Auburn back in 1933. The Tigers are 1-10-1 in the series and the two haven’t even played since back in 2014. This isn’t a matchup for the offensive loving fans of today. It will be a grind where third-down stops and turnovers gained are the most important factors. Expect to see a couple of kickers with pro potential front and center as Auburn looks to leave Columbia with a win.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). Watch on the ESPN Network.