One of the keys to offensive success against the Gamecocks was the use of 2-backs by the Auburn offense. The cross-buck action places stress on opposing defenses, especially with Nick Marshall as a third option. Defenses are forced to cover both edges as well as the middle. Gus Malzahn was able to compliment the outside runs with the inside power plays, which prevented the Gamecock defense from selling out at the point of attack. Look for Auburn to continue utilizing 2-back sets moving forward.
On this play Auburn has a 2nd & 4 at the South Carolina 37-yard line. The Tigers come out in a 2-back set with Roc Thomas and Corey Grant. At the snap Grant will shoot out of the backfield as Nick Marshall fakes the inside give to Thomas. The DE plays the inside run, allowing Marshall to sprint to the corner. The Spur (Star) for Gamecocks is forced to play the slot-WR and the QB. Marshall gives a pass-look, forcing the Spur to lock onto the WR.
Nick Marshall turns up field and cuts back to the middle of the field. He is able to speed down field for 37-yards and a touchdown. Note how Corey Grant was not accounted for after leaving the backfield. This could turn into a pass-option later down the road.