Championship Week Phil Steele Forecast For #18 South Carolina

 

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
GEORGIA DOME, ATLANTA
#2 AUBURN vs #18 S CAROLINA
Rushing
Passing
Points
TO’s
ST
AUBURN 210
200
36
2.0
S CAROLINA
125
285
36
1.6
-
The last two years the SEC Champ game has featured #1 vs #2 Florida vs Alabama and while this year's matchup won't have the same build-up it is equally intriguing with 12-0 Auburn in contention for a national title and their QB Newton the Heisman frontrunner. These two teams did meet earlier this year which was a 35-27 win by Auburn at home on 9/25. In that gm, SC led 20-7 late 2Q and 27-21 early 4Q, but QB Garcia fmbl’d twice and then was pulled and bkup Shaw was int’d twice (all 4 TO’s in the 4Q and resulting in 14 pts for Aub). Newton threw for 158, 2 TD and rushed for 176, 3 TD in the 1st matchup while Garcia threw for 235 with a 3-0 ratio but RB Lattimore was held to 33 rush yds. Aub did have 492-384 yd and 29-20 FD edges in the gm. SC finished their ssn strong with 3 str DD wins incl LW’s 29-7 win over rival Clem (322-251 yd edge). SC QB Garcia is avg 221 ypg (66%) with an 18-9 ratio while RB Lattimore has 1,114 (4.8). Aub is off the biggest come-from-behind win over rival AL ever as they trailed 24-0 late 2Q but rebounded for a 28-27 win. They were fortunate to be only down by that score as AL scored just 3 pts on 3 drives inside Aub's 20-yd line in the 1H. QB Newton was held to 39 rush yds but threw for 216 and 3 TD and the D held AL to 69 rush yds (2.3). While this is SC’s 1st trip to the SEC Title gm, it is Spurrier’s 8th and he is 5-2 in those games. Aub’s last title trip was in 2004, a 38-28 win over Tenn when Chizik was the DC here. Spurrier has the experience factor in his favor and I think SC can stay in the gm as long as Garcia doesn’t have another meltdown.
PHIL’S FORECAST: AUBURN 38 S CAROLINA 34
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