Despite the release of impressive statistics, Auburn’s №15 football fell in South Carolina after making a series of costly mistakes.
The 30-22 loss was the first loss the Tigers suffered from the Gamecocks in the 1930s. Defensive penalties, interceptions and large falls played a role in the defeat. The Tigers fell to 2-2, while Gamecocks rose to 2-2.
Both losses to Auburn this season are on the way, and his next game is also a road game. The Tigers will have to put the loss behind them and build on the positives. But before we turn our attention to Ole Miss, here̵
Were it not for three interceptions, Bo Knicks would have had a fantastic game. However, these three interceptions were critical to Auburn’s loss. They led to 21 points, and Auburn lost by only eight. Nix continued to race and finished the game with 272 passing yards and 69 fast yards. His completion rate was only 51 percent, but that doesn’t take into account the decline in his successors or the time he had to throw it out. There are things to build on, but this was another poor performance on the road.
Running backs: C
The real freshman Tank Bigsby had his second consecutive fast game of 100 yards. Bigsby finished 111 yards on 16 runs, averaging 6.9 yards per run. He bounced off the defenders and made his way through piles of bodies, leaping to the other side to take a few more yards. DJ Williams also rushed for 17 yards and made two catches for 26 yards. There is still room for improvement in the running game, as the offensive line is looking for consistency and the running backs are more included in the game plan.
Narrow ends: C
Luke Deal made his first reception in his career, adding to the list of bottlenecks that took part in the passing game. In addition, the appearance of JJ Pegues in the failed two-point conversion, the tight edges were much less visible than in previous games. John Samuel Schenker continued to hit the pitch as a blocker, where he helped open several lanes, but otherwise they were quiet.
Wide receivers: D
The wide receivers played a role in helping Nix accumulate 272 yards to pass, but they also made some big drops that reduced the completion rate and held the discs. Broad receiver Eli Stove said there are only some communication issues and small details that need to be fixed. Stove played well for his first game back after being injured against Georgia, but Seth Williams was held back by four catches on 12 goals. Williams also tilted the ball, which was intercepted. Anthony Schwartz had six catches for 59 yards, as well as a few drops.
Offensive line: D
To open the second half, the offensive line was called for a false start. The Linear also had several other penalties for what hurt the offensive. They helped Nix stay longer in his pocket than in previous games, although this began to collapse as the game continued. Nix was fired three times this game and he had to make several escape games. Although the players have returned from injury, it seems that the top five have not yet been settled.
Protective line: C
The defensive line put more pressure on the quarterback, putting his hands in Colin Hill’s face, but failed to cover the weapons around the quarterback, ending with zero sacks. The fast transition is critical and this is something Auburn has tried to focus on, but has not yet led to many results. The line improved its defense, especially in the first half. He held Gamecocks at 41 yards on 19 speed attempts. South Carolina managed to find gaps in the second half and finished with 153 yards.
Once again, Zakoby McClain and Owen Pappoe led the team in battle, finishing with 13 and 10 games respectively. McClain also made the team’s only dismissal, while Pappoe made the only interception. McClain and Pappoe helped stop the running backs, who found holes, and made a few stops on passes as well. They seem to be trying to keep the defense together from the center.
The penalties were really what hurt the defense in the second half, Papoe said. Two of these big penalties were in the corner. Roger McCreery was called in twice to intervene in a defensive pass, which moved Gamecocks up the field. Several of South Carolina’s big catches were made just above the corners. Of course, the ones made by Shea Smith were just fantastic plays. Overall, the secondary holds South Carolina at just 144 receiving yards. It will also improve when a gap is found. But the penalties were critical to the loss.
To add to the corner kick penalties, Smoke Monday added a penalty with a face mask and an intervention in a defensive pass in the second half. Both penalties helped Gamecocks score. Safety was also beaten by several major catches. They helped stop the run, but also missed some decisions and missed Gamecocks. Jamien Sherwood finished with five games and Smoke Monday finished with one.
Special teams: B
Like last game, kick Anders Carlson had to score a lot of points for Auburn. He kicked three goals on the field, all less than 40 yards, because Auburn could not finish in the red zone. He did all three. He also had four touchbacks in six starts, and the coverage team only allowed one return to a starting start of 16 yards. Aiden Marshall only had to hit twice, but averaged 45.5 yards. The only return of the Gamecocks strike was just three yards away. Bigsby had only one return and carried it 23 yards.
Auburn’s fights in the red zone continue and not all the blame can be placed on the execution of the players. Auburn relied solely on Nix and the passing game, instead of trying to push the game. Instead of making the famous adjustments to the half in defense, Auburn actually gave up more in the second half, which is often the case for this team in 2020. The management of the watch also left something to be desired.
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Rewind Auburn’s 30-22 loss to the Tigers in South Carolina