--After displaying a much improved running game through its first three games, South Carolina took a step back against Auburn, rushing 28 times for 79 yards. Although he scored a touchdown, rookie sensation Marcus Lattimore was also held in check, rushing 14 times for 33 yards. Kenny Miles, the team's leading rusher in 2009, did not get a carry.
--The defense, which allowed an average of 69 rushing yards in its first three games, was gashed for 334 by Auburn. That is not a good sign with a physical Alabama team looming on the horizon.
--The big and physical wide receiver corps continues to be team strength. With sophomores Alshon Jeffery and Tori Gurley leading way, the group caught 19 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Jeffery was the standout with eight catches for 192 yards and two scored. He leads the nation in receiving yards with 498 and is third in receptions with 27.
The Gamecocks got off to a fast start, posting impressive victories over Southern Mississippi and Georgia. They were sluggish in a win over Football Championship Subdivision member Furman.
South Carolina lost its sixth straight conference road game against Auburn, despite leading for most of the game.
With the exception of the Auburn game, the Gamecocks have displayed an improved ability to run the football while utilizing a talented receiving corps.
The defense had been outstanding until facing Auburn, allowing only 69 yards rushing per encounter. It was gashed by the Tigers, however, who piled up 492 yards of total offense.
If the Gamecocks are to return to their winning ways, quarterback Stephen Garcia must cut down on key turnovers, and the defense must put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
The team must re-group quickly with a home game against Alabama up next. Carolina must quickly revamp its run defense against the powerful Crimson Tide. Following road games against Kentucky and Vanderbilt and a home contest against Tennessee, the Gamecocks face faces Arkansas and Florida. Following it a non-conference game against Troy, they close the campaign with a road game against in-state rival Clemson.
QUOTE TO NOTE
"We plan on him starting against Alabama. He actually played three quarters pretty well then obviously the two fumbles were pretty bad plays. Can he stop fumbling? We're going to give him a chance to stop fumbling. He hasn't thrown a lot of picks this year so other than the fumbles, he's played pretty decently." -- South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier on quarterback Stephen Garcia, following practice Tuesday night.
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