Muschamp, Tigers Make Right Guess

Auburn defensive coordinator discusses his team's narrow victory over South Carolina.

Columbia, S.C.--It was a frustrating night for defensive coordinator Will Muschamp as his Auburn Tigers hung on for a 24-17 SEC football victory over South Carolina.

Auburn's defense never found the formula for consistently stopping South Carolina quarterback Syvelle Newton, who hurt Auburn with his scrambling and passing.

"When we rushed three, he scrambled and outran us," Muschamp said of Newton. "When we rushed four, we had a hard time matching up in the slot on some of the coverages.

"South Carolina did a good job with their plan and our kids kept fighting and battling. They got some manageable down and distance situations for them on offense and they converted some third downs, but that were one of four in the red zone and that was the key. We knew we could do that and stop them because of their lack of being able to run the football."

On the final play of the game, a fourth and one at the Auburn five, Muschamp said he believed the Gamecocks were going to pass the ball and that is what happened. Newton threw a pass in the end zone to Sidney Rice, but Auburn cornerback Patrick Lee made the defensive stop.

"We max-blitzed them," Muschamp said. "We felt like they were going to throw the fade to Rice. We were going to let our cover people win the game and Patrick Lee made a phenomenal play."

Muschamp celebrates the victory.

Muschamp said that he was impressed with the way Newton performed at QB.

"They did a good job of spreading us out," the coach said. "That quarterback is a tough matchup. He would outrun us. We lost contain several times in our rush. I was very disappointed in that. We lined up offsides a couple of times. I was very disappointed in that.

"That is a dangerous team," Muschamp added. "Two weeks ago that was not the same team as they have got now because of the kid at quarterback."

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