Steve Spurrier leads his number 12 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks into Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night (7:45 pm EDT) in search of a rare road win against Gene Chizik’s number 17 ranked Auburn Tigers in an early-season SEC battle of unbeatens. The Gamecocks began the season ranked number 24, but vaulted to number 12 in the polls on the heels of an impressive 17-6 victory over then-number 22 Georgia in Athens, and enter this game 3-0 on the season. Auburn comes into the game after a come from behind, 27-24 win over Clemson in overtime after being down 17-3 at halftime. The tigers have won three of their last four games by three points, and seem to find a way to keep things exciting.
Auburn is led on offense by dual-threat quarterback Cameron Newton and freshman running back Michael Dyer, who filled in quite well for injured tailback Mario Fanin against Clemson, who was out with a shoulder injury, and is averaging 5.4 yards per carry in 3 games. The South Carolina offense is led by Stephen Garcia at quarterback, who threw 2 interceptions in a shaky 38-19 win over FCS school Furman last week. Freshman tailback Marcus Lattimore, who had an impressive 182 yards on the ground in the big win over Georgia, also had a lackluster showing against Furman, running for 97 yards on 19 carries. An effective running game and holding on to the football will be key this week if Spurrier’s crew hopes to pull off the upset on the road. Auburn leads the nation is pass efficiency, with Newton averaging an FBS high 11.8 yards per pass attempt. They will likely need to go to the air against South Carolina to win, because the Gamecocks have held opponents to 2.2 yards per rush this season.
South Carolina is 5-1 ATS when facing a team with a winning record, and 6-1 ATS in their last 7 September games. Auburn is 3-8 in their last 11 games ATS, and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games. The over is 7-3-1 in the last 11 South Carolina road games, and the over is 8-2-1 in the last 11 Auburn home games.
South Carolina vs Auburn Spread, Line and Betting Odds:
South Carolina Gamecocks +3
@ Auburn Tigers -3
South Carolina +130
@ Auburn -150
South Carolina vs Auburn Prediction for Week 4:
Over/Under Prediction (Top Play): Take the over here, the trend for both Auburn and South Carolina favors the over and with two offenses that feature playmakers there should be some points in this one as well. Look for the Tigers to put points up via the air and with the legs of Newton as the tough Gamecock run defense will make life difficult for Dyer on the ground. If Garcia struggles with turnovers, South Carolina’s defense will have to contend with short fields which will eventually wear them down, and allow Auburn to get some points. This could be another shoot out for Auburn, but the bet here is that their luck will run out.
Spread Prediction: This game should be tight all the way through, and could very easily come down to the wire. South Carolina has a tough defense that will keep them in the game even if Garcia and the running game struggle. Look for South Carolina to hang in until the end, and for Auburn’s luck to run out this season after playing so many close games recently. The Gamecocks have the defense and the running game to pull over a rare road upset in the always rugged SEC. Prediction = South Carolina +3
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