South Carolina hosts Auburn on Saturday in Columbia, S.C. Here are your three keys to Gamecock victory.
By Don Yates
1. Third down defense
South Carolina’s defense has held opponents to an SEC-leading just 19 percent on third-down conversions. That’s an impressive number. Third down conversion rate is one of the best indicators of a team’s defensive success or failure. If USC can keep this rate going on Saturday they’ll have a shot at knocking off Auburn.
2. Hill on fire
In three games Gamecock graduate transfer Collin Hill has completed 69 of 110 passes (62.7%) for three touchdowns and just one interception. That’s pretty good but against Auburn’s tough defense the Gamecocks need for Hill to have more production. Maybe like throw for two touchdowns in a game. Of course, it isn’t all on Hill. Receivers have to catch the ball and get into the end zone and blockers have to block.
3. Win the turnover battle
South Carolina has been pretty efficient in the area of turnovers but a single interception return for a TD is the reason the Gamecocks are 1-2 instead 2-1 right now. This Auburn team is no juggernaut just like Tennessee wasn’t. South Carolina can’t afford to give away ball another game because of turnovers. They can beat Auburn if they do their thing and play clean ball.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 11:00 AM CT (12:00 PM ET). Watch on the ESPN Network.