Saturday, October 17, 2020, Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina, noon ET
Tigers at Gamecocks Betting Preview: Tigers (-3), Gamecocks (+3)
Perhaps overlooked in the aftermath of the controversial ending to their 30-28 win over Arkansas was the emergence of running back Tank Bigsby in giving the No. 15 Tigers (2-1, 2-1 Southeastern Conference) a much-needed boost on offense.
The freshman rushed for 146 yards for the game and had two carries for 17 yards and a reception for eight in Auburn’s final drive to set up the decisive field goal.
“What has impressed me is just his physicality and determination,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “He’s still learning the plays. He is still learning the schemes and the steps and everything that goes with it.”
Auburn has been seeking more consistency after averaging only 328.7 yards a game on offense through its first three games. Thanks in a big way to Bigsby’s effort, the Tigers nearly doubled their rushing average for the season to 129.7 yards a game from the 65.0 they had averaged through their first two games.
South Carolina Gamecocks
The Gamecocks (1-2, 1-2 SEC) unveiled a rushing threat of their own in their 41-7 pounding of Vanderbilt last week with Kevin Harris bulling his way to 171 yards on 21 carries. Injured last year and limited to just six appearances, Harris has rushed for 326 yards and four touchdowns this season.
“You get tired of hitting him, and there’s nothing really soft on his body,” South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said of the 5-foot-10, 225-pound sophomore. “He’s a guy that wears on people as the game continues to go.”
Colorado State transfer Collin Hill failed to hit the 200-yard mark last week against Vandy but has completed 69 of his 110 attempts for 698 yards and three touchdowns in three games. Shi Smith is his favorite target with 26 receptions for 271 yards and two of the scores.
Tigers at Gamecocks Betting Pick for October 20, 2020
The Tigers will be without preseason all-SEC linebacker K.J. Britt this week and possibly for the rest of the season after he had thumb surgery. That’s not the kind of thing you want to hear when preparing for a runner like South Carolina’s Harris, but the Tigers should have enough offense to put the Gamecocks away. Zakoby McClain (13 tackles vs. Arkansas) and Owen Pappoe (10) look ready to make up for the loss of Britt.
Tigers at Gamecocks Betting Pick:
Tigers 28, Gamecocks 17
Tigers at Gamecocks Best Bet for October 17, 2020
Bo Nix hasn’t gotten off to the kind of start Tigers fans no doubt were hoping for. He has completed only 56.8 percent of his 95 passes for 199 yards a game. Anthony Schwartz (21 catches, 197 yards) and Seth Williams (12-216) are top quality receivers and could provide the breakthrough the Tigers are seeking.
Tigers at Gamecocks Best Bet: UNDER 49.5
–Field Level Media