Staff Predictions: Auburn

The staff predicts the score of the Auburn game. Look inside! Staff Predictions: Auburn
Paul Stewart - Staff Writer
It'll be a big Saturday night in Auburn this weekend as 3-0 South Carolina rolls into Jordan-Hare to face off against the 3-0 Auburn Tigers. Auburn narrowly escaped last weekend with a 27-24 overtime victory against Clemson in an extremely physical game. Some think that will take a toll on the Tigers this week as they also prepare for their second SEC contest.

I think this will be a great game for three quarters. I don't expect Auburn to have as disastrous a first half as they had against Clemson, and I also don't think Auburn will have as flashy a half as they did in the second period last week. South Carolina's defense will be ready to play, and Marcus Lattimore will have to battle as Auburn will gear up to stop the run.

In the end, I'm picking Auburn in this one because they're at home. I think that will give them the edge just like it did last week. However, I could see this one just as easily going the other way. Tough to pick right now, but I'll go with the Tigers in a classic battle.

South Carolina - 17
Auburn - 24
David Porter - Beat Writer
I've struggled with this one all week. Auburn is the only team South Carolina has not beaten since joining the SEC in 1992 (0-4). The Gamecocks nearly pulled off an upset in 1996 at Jordan Hare before falling 28-24. Everyone remembers what happened the last time these two teams met in 2006. Auburn came in ranked #2 and barely escaped with a 24-17 victory over the Gamecocks. Everyone also remembers what happened the last time the Gamecocks visited Jordan Hare in Spurrier's first year, a 48-7 shellacking. The difference in the 2010 match-up is that I think South Carolina is the better team for the first time in these last five meetings. With the return of Shaq Wilson and hopefully a near 100% healthy offensive line certainly helps.

The biggest question for South Carolina will be how the Gamecocks respond to this week's tragedy. The coaches feel like the team has responded well, but no one will know for sure until the team steps onto the field Saturday night. The biggest question for the Tigers is how will they respond to a very physical game against Clemson last week and the loss of A.J. Greene (the lineman, not the receiver) to an already thin offensive line.

My heart says Carolina will win this game. The more I think about it, my head agrees.

South Carolina - 27
Auburn - 20
Ryan Bethea - Photographer
After wrestling with a firm prediction all week, I've come to the conclusion this will finally be South Carolina's statement game under Steve Spurrier. USC coaches, players and fans have longed for a big opportunity to turn the corner in the SEC and there simply isn't any bigger than a Top 15 showdown Saturday night against Auburn. Expect to see Stephen Garcia and Alshon Jeffery connect for a big night on the Plains as the Gamecocks squeeze out a 24-20 road win against the banged up Tigers.

South Carolina - 24
Auburn - 20
Wes Mitchell
There's no question this game has been on the mind of Gamecocks everywhere since moments after the final whistle of the Georgia win. South Carolina has everything in the world to play for in what should be an emotional road contest for the Gamecocks. I expect the Gamecocks to show up for this one and it should help that they got to cruise by Furman last week while Auburn had its most physical contest to date. Road games in the SEC are NEVER easy. And it's against my better judgement to go with a double digit Gamecocks win. But I'm going with my gut...

South Carolina - 27
Auburn - 17

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