Not many people are expecting South Carolina to go into Auburn and beat the fifth-ranked Tigers, but there are some ways it can be done. It will take a huge defensive effort and some magic from Gamecock quarterback Dylan Thompson. These will be the three keys to winning the game for South Carolina when the Gamecocks kickoff with Auburn at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network:
Stay strong in the second half: The Gamecocks’ last two losses came in the second half when they couldn’t sustain a lead and the defense wilted. Get off the field on third downs and take away momentum from Auburn in its own stadium. USC will have to be much better than their 39.77% opponent third down conversion rate if they want to win this game, especially in the second half.
Keep the Auburn offense off the field: USC needs to string together as many long drives as possible. You limit Auburn’s chances to get big plays against a USC defense that allows a lot of them (ranked 96th in nation in giving up plays of 10 or more yards) by keeping the Auburn offense off the field.
Get into the redzone: When the Gamecocks get inside their opponent’s 20 yard line, they tend to score. 27 out of their 28 trips in the redzone have ended in points. A part of that will obviously be getting lots of first downs and that shouldn’t be a problem. USC is the third-best team in the conference and 18th in the nation at moving the markers.