Spurrier's Gamecocks Up Next for the Tigers

The Auburn football Tigers are up to fifth and sixth in the polls as they prepare to take on South Carolina to start the second half of their demanding regular season schedule.

Coach Steve Spurrier (above) has an 81-42 as head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks and is 223-82-2 in 25 seasons as a college head coach.

Auburn, Ala.--Following their final off-week of the 2014 football regular season, the Auburn Tigers are turning their attention to Saturday’ SEC home game vs. the South Carolina Gamecocks, who cruised to a 41-10 victory over Furman on Saturday.

Kickoff for the Tigers vs. Gamecocks game is set for 6:30 p.m. CDT at Jordan-Hare Stadium and it will be televised on the SEC Network. Coach Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks, who were expected to make a strong run at winning the SEC East, are 3-3 in the league and 4-3 overall.

“Overall, I’m proud of the team,” Spurrier said as his team ended a two-game losing streak. “It wasn’t a real pretty game, but we got us a win. The running backs played pretty well. It was a win for us and we’re happy to get it.”

The Gamecocks ran the ball 43 times for 267 yards vs. the Paladins with Mike Davis leading the way with 111 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. He also caught a pass for 24 yards. David Williams rushed for 110 yards on 11 carries.

“We ran a lot more than we threw,” Spurrier said. “Dylan (Thompson) only threw 22 passes and (Connor Mitch) threw four. We ran a lot more and that’s what we have to do. Heck, everybody knows that.”

The Gamecocks completed 16 of their passes for 281 yards and two scores. For the season Thompson is completing 61.3 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 1,839 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions.

Dylan Thompson (17), a fifth-year senior, has taken over as the full-time starter this season for the Gamecocks.

Davis leads the ground attack with 662 yards at 5.5 per carry and he has run for eight scores.

The Gamecocks are averaging 185.4 rushing yards per game at 4.8 per carry and are giving up 181.7 yards per game at 5.3 per carry. South Carolina is passing for 265.4 yards per contest and giving up 239.6 with opponents competing 63.6 percent of their throws.

Pharoh Cooper is the top receiver for the Gamecocks with 33 catches for 426 yards and four scores.

After opening with a 52-28 home loss to Texas A&M, Spurrier’s team won three straight vs. East Carolina (33-23), Georgia (38-35) and Vanderbilt (48-34) before losing 21-20 to Missouri and 45-38 to Kentucky prior to defeating Furman.

Auburn leads the series vs. the Gamecocks 9-1-1 and has a 5-0 record in games played at Auburn. The last matchup came in 2011 with the Tigers taking a 16-13 decision at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.

Coach Gus Malzahn, who has a 17-3 overall mark as head coach of the Tigers including a 12-0 record at Jordan-Hare Stadium, was AU’s offensive coordinator for the previous three matchups vs. the Gamecocks in 2011 and in 2010 when Auburn won 35-27 at Jordan-Hare Stadium and took the rematch 56-17 in the SEC Championship Game.

Malzahn, who said he liked his team’s bye week workouts, gave the players time off on Friday and Saturday before they face a stretch of four consecutive SEC games with South Carolina, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Georgia on the schedule before wrapping up the regular season with the home finale vs. Samford and a road game at Alabama. Ole Miss, Georgia and Alabama are each ranked in the Top 10 this week.

Auburn, which is 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the SEC, moved up one spot in this week’s AP Top 25 poll and is ranked fifth. The Tigers have been ranked in the AP Top 10 for 17 consecutive poll periods. The Tigers moved up two spots in the coaches poll to sixth.

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