1. SERIOUSLY TACKLE
Auburn ran right through South Carolina’s defensive front and running QB Josh Dobbs will doubtless try to do the same. If the Gamecocks force him to pass, they could presumably finally get a pass-rush, against a weak Volunteers offensive line.
2. BUMP AND RUN
The Vols have three terrific wideouts in Marquez North (remember him?), Josh Malone and Pig Howard. Auburn, when it did throw, made life miserable for USC by out-jumping the Gamecocks’ defensive backs. If USC’s front seven can knock them off their routes, they can help the secondary.
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3. CRUSHING ORANGE
It was always the sound of the season-ending stretch when Tennessee popped on the schedule, and USC never could solve the “Orange Crush” stretch of the Vols, Florida and Clemson. The Gamecocks are 10-2 over the three teams since 2010. That needs to continue.
4. NUMBER SIX
The Gamecocks need two more wins to be bowl-eligible, and South Alabama should be one. The other has to come from Tennessee, Florida or Clemson. While Florida is in shambles, that game is on the road. Tonight seems to be the best chance to win.
The Gamecocks have lost their last five games when they wore either black jerseys or black pants, making it very understandable why Steve Spurrier stuck with variations of white and garnet since Auburn 2011. I wore the same Braves cap for 15 years and it won 14 division titles, five pennants and a World Series; I get that. Spurrier’s shaking it up this week, and if the all-black look works, bet on it being trotted out over the next three games.