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South Carolina (2-2) at Auburn (3-1) 7 pm ET ESPN2

Why to watch: The bloom is off the South Carolina/Steve Spurrier rose after losing the first two SEC games, but an easy 45-20 win over Troy last week temporarily righted the ship. A win over Auburn would get the Gamecocks back into the hunt for a bowl game and make the team relevant again. Auburn spent the last three weeks tuning up and getting fat on Mississippi State, Ball State and Western Kentucky winning by a combined score of 128 to 17 while not allowing a point in the first half against the three. Now the Tigers get a decent test again to end their five-game homestand.

Why South Carolina might win: The only chance the Gamecocks have is to get consistent pressure in the backfield. The offense is going to have problems hanging more than 21 points, so it'll have to be up to the D to close down the Tiger offense and force Brandon Cox and the passing game to make several mistakes. The USC pass defense is currently 19th in the nation allowing 155 yards per game while forcing four interceptions. However ...

Why Auburn might win: ... the Auburn pass defense is playing even better allowing a mere 153.5 yards per game. Since South Carolina's running game is a total waste of time averaging 65.5 yards per game, Auburn can completely focus on teeing off with its pass rush. Field position is vital for USC's struggling offense, but that might be a problem hurt by one of the league's worst return games. Auburn leads the nation in kickoff returns. The Gamecock offensive line has been getting its quarterbacks blasted, and should have another rough outing because ...

Who to watch: ... Auburn's star DE Stanley McClover should finally be back in the mix after suffering an ankle injury against Georgia Tech. The star pass rusher should be back in a full-time role after spending most of the last three weeks on the sidelines. South Carolina doesn't need anything more to worry about with its passing game as it tries to replace starting QB Blake Mitchell, who's likely out with an ankle injury. That means it'll be up to Antonio Heffner, who adds more mobility to the mix, to try to move the offense. He completed six of nine passes for 91 yards and a touchdown against Troy.

What will happen: The lack of respect from the pollsters is more than enough motivation for Auburn. The team is playing too well, and has had too many decent scrimmages against lousy teams, to not be sharp against the wounded Gamecocks. Can Spurrier's boys make a game of it? Yes, but only if Auburn shoots itself in the foot. That won't happen.

CFN Prediction: Auburn 34 ... South Carolina 13 ... Line: Auburn -13.5 | Make your pick and compete against others

Must See Rating: (5 lock yourself in a room to watch - 1 Out of Practice) ... 2.5

from Collegefootballnews.com

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