Despite keeping impressive figures, No. 15 Auburn Football fell to South Carolina after making a series of costly mistakes.
The 30–22 loss was the first loss gamers have faced to the Tigers since the 1930s. Defensive penalties, interceptions and big drops all played a part in the defeat. The Tigers fall to 2–2 while the Gamecocks extend to 2–2.
Both of Auburn’s losses have come on the road this season, and its next game is also a road game. The tigers have to take the loss behind it and build positivity. But before we focus on Ole Miss, here’s how each person’s position is at the end of the game:
Had it not been for three interceptions, Bo Knicks would have had a great game. However, those three blockers were instrumental in the loss to Auburn. He scored 21 points and Auburn lost by just eight. The Knicks continued to compete and finished the game with 272 passing yards and 69 rushing yards. His completion percentage was only 51 percent, but he does not account for his receiver’s drops or time to throw him away. He has things to build, but this was another poor road performance.
Running Back: C
True freshman Tank Bigsby had his second 100-yard run game in a row. Bigsby finished with 111 yards on 16 carries, averaging 6.9 yards per carry. He bounced off the defenders and wormed his way through a pile of bodies, taking the other side out to take several more yards. DJ Williams also ran for 17 yards and took two catches for 26 yards. The run game is still being improved as the offensive line searches for consistency, and the running backs are factored more into the game plan.
Tight end: c
Luke Deal made his first career reception, including a list of tight ends who attended the passing game. Also and appearance on the two-point conversion of the JJ League, the tight ends were much less visible than in previous games. John Samuel Shenker continued to hit the ground as a blocker, where he helped open some passing lanes, but they were otherwise quiet.
Wide receiver: D
The wide receivers played a part to help the Knicks accumulate 272 passing yards, but they also made some big drops, reducing their overall percentage and closing the drive. Wide receiver Eli Stow said there were some communication problems and little details were to fix them. Stowe played well for his first game as he was injured against Georgia, but Seth Williams was held to four catches on 12 bases. Williams also tipped the blocked ball. Anthony Schwartz took 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 lineman also had several other penalties that hurt the offensive. He helped give the Knicks more time in the pocket than in previous games, though he collapsed as soon as the game started. The Knicks were sacked three times from the game, and had to make several plays on the run. Although the players returned from injury, it did not appear that the best five had yet been resolved.
Defensive Line: C
The defensive line put more pressure on the quarterback, putting Colin Hill in the face, but it was not able to get the weapon around the quarterback, ending with zero sacks. The pass rush is important, and this is something that Auburn has tried to focus on, but it has yet to yield many results. Rekha improved her run defense, especially in the first half. It held the gamecard to 41 yards on 19 rushing attempts. South Carolina was able to find some gaps in the second half and finished with 153 yards.
Once again, Zakobi McClain and Owen Pappo led the team in tackles with 13 and 10 tackles respectively. McClain also made the team’s only sack, while Pappo scored the only interception. McClain and Pappo helped stop the back running any holes, and they also made some stops on nearby plays. They are trying to hold the defense together from the center.
Peppo said the penalty really hurt the defense in the second half. Two of those big penalties were in the corner. Roger McCreary twice called for defensive pass interference, which moved the Gamecocks into the field. Many of South Carolina’s big catches were made at the top of the cornerback. Di was a brilliant play by Shea Smith. Overall, the secondary held South Carolina to just 144 yards. It will improve even if a pass rush is established. But the penalty was significant for the loss.
To add to the cornerback’s penalty, Smoke Monday added a facemask penalty and a defensive pass interference in the second half. Both penalties helped the Gamecocks on a scoring drive. Safari was also defeated on several big catches. He helped stop the run, but missed a few tackles and left Gemex. Jamian Sherwood finished with five tackles, and Smoke Mande finished with one.
Special teams: B
Like the previous game, kicker Anders Carlson had to score a lot of Auburn points. He scored three field goals, all under 40-yards, as Auburn could not end up in the red zone. He made all three. He also delivered four touchbacks at six kickoffs, and the coverage team allowed only 16-yard kickoff returns. Aidan Marshall only had to punt twice but averaged 45.5 yards a punt. The Gamecocks’ only punt return was just three yards. Bigsby had just one kickoff return and extended it to 23 yards.
Auburn’s struggles continue in the Red Zone, and not all of the blame can be placed on the execution of the players. Auburn relied solely on the Knicks and the passing game, instead of trying to get the run game going. Instead of making the famous defensive halftime adjustment, Auburn actually gave up more in the second half, becoming common for this 2020 salad. The watch management also left something to be desired.
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Auburn’s 30-22 loss to the Tigers in South Carolina