NCAA Game Summary - South Carolina at Auburn|
(Saturday, September 25th)
Final Score: (17) Auburn 35, (12) South Carolina 27
Auburn, AL (Sports Network) - Cameron Newton threw two fourth-quarter
touchdowns and ran for three scores as No. 17 Auburn finished strong to
upend 12th-ranked South Carolina, 35-27, in a key early-season SEC clash at
Newton took advantage of two costly fumbles by Gamecock junior quarterback
Stephen Garcia to hit Philip Lutzenkirchen for the go-ahead score and Emory
Blake with under 6 1/2 minutes remaining to forge an eight-point lead.
The junior dual threat rushed for 176 yards on 25 carries and completed 16-
of-21 passes for 158 yards for the Tigers (4-0, 2-0 SEC), who outlasted
Clemson in a brawl last weekend, 27-24, in overtime.
Michael Dyer gashed South Carolina's top-ranked league rushing defense for 100
yards to further bolster the Tigers' No. 1-ranked SEC rushing offense.
Of the Tigers' 492 yards of offense, 334 of that came on the ground.
Auburn's defense came away with four turnovers, two in the fourth quarter on
interceptions of backup QB Connor Shaw with the Gamecocks driving in hopes of
landing a game-tying touchdown and two-point conversion.
"That is a great SEC win against a really, really good football team. Again,
coming down from (13) points at one point two weeks in a row against two
really, really good football teams," said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik of
rallying for wins two weeks in a row against league foes. "They have the word
respond that we use a lot. Our guys have just responded."
Garcia was 15-of-21 for 235 yards with three touchdown passes -- two to
sophomore Alshon Jeffery, who racked up a career-best 192 yards on eight
Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore scored on the ground, but the
Gamecocks' (3-1, 1-1) rushing attack was bottled up to the tune of 79 yards.
South Carolina led 20-14 at halftime and 27-21 after three quarters. Momentum
was seemingly on the visitors' side after Auburn was unable to procure points
at the end of a promising 16-play, 73-yard drive as Wes Byrum's 23-yard field
goal attempt sailed wide right on the first play of the fourth quarter.
But Garcia ran it up the middle on the initial play of the ensuing possession
and was stripped of the football. Auburn recovered at the USC 26-yard line and
went ahead, 28-27, on Newton's third-down pass to Lutzenkirchen from seven
The ball was back in Garcia's hands with 13 1/2 minutes left to play, but on
3rd-and-8, the Tigers' defense had him wrapped up in the backfield for a loss.
Instead of going to the ground, Garcia struggled to make something happen and
fumbled near midfield.
The turnover sent Auburn on an efficient 53-yard drive that took nine plays.
It featured just one third down, converted on an eight-yard rush by Onterio
McCalebb, to set up a fresh set of downs from the Gamecock 14. Two plays
later, Newton gave the hosts a 35-27 lead with a 12-yard strike to Blake.
"He is a competitor. Cameron is a very humble guy who just comes to work every
day. I think he is getting better as a quarterback and a team leader and a guy
who can manage our offense every week," Chizik said of Newton.
After the two late miscues, Shaw started the next USC series under center and
moved the offense 49 yards across midfield before being picked off by Josh
Bynes at the 11-yard line.
Auburn was forced to punt with 1:27 still on the clock, and Shaw had the
Gamecock offense on the move again, gaining the Tigers' 18-yard line with
under a minute remaining.
Shaw went to the end zone on 2nd-and-2 but overthrew his intended receiver and
Demond Washington made a leaping interception for a touchback to seal the win.
"We had trouble stopping them, but we stopped them enough and then our
quarterback fumbled a few times and they scored, but we still moved the ball.
We had our chances," said South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier. "We had a
hard time stopping their quarterback from running and we could not run well --
their defensive line got the best of us."
Auburn had turnover problems of its own in the first half. Newton ran for a
54-yard touchdown on the Tigers' first touch for an early lead at home, but
South Carolina answered quickly on Garcia's 30-yard scoring toss to Jeffery.
Mario Fannin coughed up the ball on Auburn's next series, and the Gamecocks
made it a 14-7 game with another efficient drive capped by Lattimore's one-
yard stretch over the goal line.
Following punts from both teams, the Tigers were driving toward midfield when
Dyer fumbled. South Carolina embarked on its third sub-four-minute scoring
venture, with Garcia tossing a six-yard jump-ball touchdown to the 6-foot-4
Jeffery near the left pylon.
Auburn finished the first half on a positive note, as Newton took the offense
76 yards in 12 plays and took it in himself for a three-yard touchdown and a
20-14 score at halftime.
The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, keeping South Carolina ahead
by six points. First it was Auburn, which shook off a missed 52-yard kick by
Byrum early in the frame to drive 80 yards in 11 plays as Newton found the end
zone for a third time on 2nd-and-goal.
The score gave Auburn a short-lived, 21-20, edge as Garcia and Jeffery hooked
up for a 69-yard completion on South Carolina's next play from scrimmage. Two
plays later, Garcia hit Tori Gurley for a three-yard touchdown and a 27-21
The Gamecocks were vying for their first 4-0 start since 2001 and for only the
ninth time in school history...The matchup marked the first time these two
schools have met as ranked foes in the top-25...Auburn holds a 7-1-1 advantage
in the all-time series and has won four straight...South Carolina has never
won in three visits to Jordan-Hare Stadium...Shaw was 4-of-8 for 70 yards with
the two interceptions...Lattimore ran for 33 yards on 14 carries and caught
three passes for 28 yards...Gurley hauled in a career-best four passes for 36
yards...Auburn hosts Louisiana-Monroe next Saturday, while South Carolina gets
a week off to prepare for top-ranked Alabama at home.
09/26 09:52:49 ET