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Our Digital Season: Week 9 — South Carolina at Auburn

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It's the DigiCocks vs. the DigiWarEagleTigersPlainsmenEtc.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Howdy! We return after last week's experiment, in which we saw Team Thompson take on Team Mitch to determine ultimate quarterback superiority. The result was a fairly non-decisive win for the scrappy backup, although IRL we learned why Dylan is running things. This week, we return to the standard preview simulation. It's DigiPlainsmen hosting the DigiCocks. Let's get to it!

Auburn wins the toss, will kick.

1st Quarter, or WELP

Touchback. Give to Davis on 1st down gains 3. Dylan finds Pharoh for 6, then Jerell Adams for 7, picking up the first. Ball at the SC 42. Delayed give to Davis gains 4. On 2nd down, Dylan drops back and finds Nick Jones on the crossing route for 10—1st down. Dylan keeps it for 5, then again for 3. It's 3rd and 2 on the Auburn 37. Mike Davis is swallowed up for a loss of 2, so Elliott Fry will try the bananas 56 yard field goal because this game makes no sense. Kick is short.

Auburn takes over at its own 39—Marshall to Coats for a quick 14. The bubble screen loses 1, then the dumpoff to Uzomah gains the 1 back. 3rd and 10 on the SC 46. Marshall with time, and he finds Bray for 27 yards down the sideline. It's 1st and 10 at the SC 19. Finally Auburn runs it — the triple option gains 7. Marshall gains 7 more on the keeper, and its 1st and goal at the 5. Marshall follows that with another keeper, and he scoots in the endzone untouched.

7-0, Auburn.

After the touchback, South Carolina's offense is back on the field. Davis gains 4 on 1st, then Dylan keeps it for 3 and it's quickly 3rd and 3. Dylan's unable to get rid of it on a speed option and he's tackled for a loss. Punt.

Auburn's second drive begins at its own 35. Triple option—Marshall keeps it, then flips it to Quan Bray who scampers 37 yards down to the Auburn 21. Finally something goes right for South Carolina—a six yard loss on a Gerald Dixon Jr. sack. But a 17 yard rush follows—1st down—and then another Nick Marshall touchdown scamper makes it 14-0.

14-0, Auburn. Both teams have run 11 plays—South Carolina has 14 yards, and Auburn has 125.

Touchback. Dylan to Jones on 1st down for 8. Screen to Roland gains 8 more. 1st down at the SC 41, and that's how the quarter will end.

2nd Quarter, or NAHFFENSE

Dylan to Roland again, good for a gain of 7. But on 2nd, Dylan's just able to get back to the line on the keeper. 3rd and 3, and Dylan finds Pharoh for 5. 1st down on the Auburn 48. Play action, and Dylan checks to Davis for 4. Wilds is then swallowed up for a loss of 4, so it's 3rd and 10. Halfback screen fools no one, loses 3, and the Cocks will punt. Hull's boot lands in the endzone, touchback.

1st and 10 at their own 20. Pass to Uzomah gains 8, but Marshall loses 1 on 3rd. Artis-Payne, miraculously, gains just 2 on 4th and Auburn will punt it back. Cooper gains 8 on the return, and South Carolina will begin the drive at its own 35.

Give to Davis gains 6 — he's got 5 rushes for just 15 yards. Dylan Thompson with another keeper—reminder that this game is technically calling plays for Connor Shaw—and he loses a yard. 3rd down, of which South Carolina has converted just 2 of 5. Underneath to Roland, but it gains just 4. It's a quick 3 and out. Punt returned 9 yards, so uAburn will start at its own 22.

Pass on 1st down gains just 1. Marshall is sacked on 2nd, and fumbles—it's recovered by Auburn. 3rd and 9—pass complete to Uzomah, but for just 7. That's consecutive 3 an outs for the SC defense.

1st and 10 at their own 28.  Dylan Thompson rolls right, turns throws left off his back foot, and it's picked off. That's Dylan's first incompletion. It's brought back to the SC 23.

The SC defense continue to thrive, as Moore sacks Marshall for a loss of 1. Marshall gains the 1 back on 3rd, but finds Daquille williams for a 20 yard gain—it's 1st and goal. Artis-Payne runs it in with ease, and the rout may be on.

21-0, Auburn. 53 seconds remain in the half. Auburn gets the ball back out of the locker room.

1st and 10 from their own 22. Jones gains 9 on 1st, then it's Dylan to Byrd for 20. But on 1st and 10 at the Auburn 49, Thompson is blindside sacked for a loss of 7. He throws it away on 2nd, so it's 3rd and 17. Dylan goes down the sideline deep to Roland—but it's picked off.

Auburn with 10 seconds, and Marshall will throw. He hits Williams for 7 on the sideline. They'll try the Hail Mary—holy shit, two men wide open, but McWilliams manages to sneak a hand in and bat it down. Halftime.

FIRST HALF ANALYSIS

I'm so sorry.

3rd Quarter, or SUDDENLY IT'S A GAME

After the touchback, it's a zone read give to Artis-Payne for 9. 2nd and 1. Marshall gains just 3 on 2nd, but it's a 1st down. Artis-Payne gang tackled on 1st for a loss of 1. Halfback screen to Grant gains almost all of it. 3rd and inches. But Kaiwan Lewis bursts in and wraps up Marshall before he can pitch on the option, and it's a loss of 4. Auburn will punt. The kick goes out of bounds at the 23.

Can South Carolina finally get on the board? Dylan Thompson gains 2 on the zone read keeper, indicating that it's not likely. Although, hell, he follows it with a 20 yard keeper (including a broken tackle in the backfield) so who knows. Anyway, 1st and 10 at the SC 46. Dylan keeps it again and gains 8. Give to Davis gains just 1 and it's 3rd and 1. Aaand Dylan is sacked for a loss of 7. So much for the promising drive. The punt sails through the endzone.

1st and 10 at their own 20, and Artis-Payne gains 6. Marshall then loses 2 on the keeper—Kaiwan Lewis with another tackle for loss. 5 wide, and Marshall's hit as he throws. The defense has done an admirable job these past several drives, which makes it unfortunate that the offense is such hot garbage. Punt, and Cooper gets it to the SC 47.

1st and 10. Dylan to Jerell Adams on the sideline is good for 15. I formation. Davis rumbles through the crowd and drags a few Tigers with him—it's a gain of 9. 2nd and 1—this is the deepest into Auburn territory USC's been. Thompson gains like half a yard, and it's 3rd and inches. I formation. Davis goes off tackle and gains 3. 1st and 10 at the Auburn 22. Dylan throws it away on first, but a give to Wilds gains 9, so a 3rd and 1 is upcoming. Dylan drops back, hits Jerell on the slant, and he'll knife upfield and in! Hey, points!

21-7, Auburn.

The offense finally rewards the defense, which has yielded just 188 yards and only 63 since the first quarter. After the touchback, Nick Marshall throws outside on the screen—AND BRISON WILLIAMS IS THERE FOR THE PICK! He will run it in! Touchdown, Gamecocks! Just like that it's, a one score game.

21-14, Auburn. The Plains is awful quiet.

Touchback. Auburn's 3 2nd half drives have gone punt, punt, interception. Can they make something happen. Marshall keeps it on 1st and gains 4. Give to Artis-Payne—he's dropped in the backfield by Larenz Bryant for a loss of 4! That's how the 3rd quarter will end.

4th Quarter, or FILLED WITH EMPTINESS

It's 3rd and 10 from their own 25. Halfback screen—works to perfection, gain of 19 for Artis-Payne. Marshall to Ray for 3 on 1st. Pass on 2nd is incomplete, and it's 3rd and 7. Empty backfield. Pass complete to Davis, but he's tackled immediately! It's 4th and 6, and Auburn will punt. It's a shank, and goes out of bounds at the 34.

1st and 10, Cocks. A touchdown would tie the game. Give to Davis on 1st gains a healthy 7. Davis again, but he goes nowhere, unable to get around the edge. Davis gets it again, and he bursts through the line for 5. 1st and 10 at the SC 46. For the 4th straight play, Davis gets it and he gains 6. Then Dylan keeps it for 5—you want em to run the dang ball? You got it. 1st and 10, and it's a delayed handoff to Wilds—gain of 12! 1st and 10 at the Auburn 31. I should note that this drive is taking forever; runs on runs on runs and the minutes are just melting away. Dylan on the keeper gains 9 more. Play action—Dylan has to throw it away. So it's 3rd and 1. Dylan will keep it and gain 6! 1st and 10 on the Auburn 16. Halfback screen to Wilds gains 4. Dylan on the keeper, he barrels ahead for 10!

So it's 1st and goal at the Auburn 2. Dylan—drops back? No, why? We've been running it without impedance the whole drive! Dylan looks, squares and launches—and he throws a gotdamn interception right at a linebacker. Foolishly, it's taken out to the 3 yard line. But, guuuuuuuuuuuh.

Auburn will start deep in its own territory, but that SC drive ate up so much clock they're in a position to run it out. Artis Payne gains 9. Timeout, Cocks. 2nd and 1. Around the edge, and he gains 4. First down, timeout SC. AP gains 3 on 1st. Timeout. Grant then slices through for 13, and that should be the ball game. Artis-Payne gains 1. He'll gain nothing on the next play, but that's it. Auburn can kneel it.

21-14, Auburn wins.

What a kick in the jimmies. Auburn rips off 21 points, then gets blanked in the 2nd half. In fact, they might have only managed 14 had Dylan not thrown that late 1st half pick that put Auburn in scoring position.The defense played so well, only to be rewarded with a putrid offensive showing. South Carolina gave up just 44 yards in the 2nd half prior to Dylan's final pick.

Unformatted stats, because there's no time for tables this week:

  • N. Marshall -- 13-17, 117, 1 INT, 12 rush, 14 yards, 2 TD
  • C. Artis-Payne -- 12 rush, 51 yards, 1 TD, 1 rec., 19 yards
  • D. Thompson -- 15-21, 120 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 16 rush, 55 yards
  • J. Adams -- 3 rec, 38 yards, TD
  • TEAM SC -- 120 pass yd, 118 rush yd, 238 total yd, 6/12 3DC, 3 INT, 7/12 TOP
  • TEAM AU -- 117 pass yd, 128 rush yd, 245 total o, 3/8 3DC, 1 INT, 5/12 TOP

The good news is there's no way we're holding Auburn to 245 yards—or wait, that's bad news I guess. But regardless, if we lose in the above fashion—a late Dylan Thompson pick on Run the Dang Ball and goal—the entire fanbase would need to be placed on suicide watch.

On that note, have a super weekend!