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  • Smith South carolina
    (PHOTO | SEC MEDIA) University of South Carolina wide receiver Shi Smith fights off the tackle following the reception.
  • Hill South Carolina
    (PHOTO | SEC MEDIA) University of South Carolina quarterback Colin Hill
  • South Carolina defense
    (PHOTO | SEC MEDIA)

South Carolina upends 15th ranked Auburn 30-22

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Years of futility against Auburn University for South Carolina and head coach Will Muschamp ended Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Gamecocks defeated 15th ranked Auburn 30-22. It was the 1st victory since 1933 over the Tigers, the 1st since South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference in 1992 and 1st in 9 tries by Muschamp.

South Carolina (2-2, 2-2) capitalized off 3 interceptions, 2 by junior Jaycee Horn who entered the game without 1 for his career, for 3 touchdowns. Kevin Harris rushed for 2 touchdowns and quarterback Colin Hill was 15-24 for 144 yards and a touchdown. 

After South Carolina’s 1st drive ended with a punt, Auburn drove 12 plays to set up Anders Carlson 35-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.  

It appeared South Carolina answered with a 78-yard touchdown run down the home sidelines by Harris. A holding penalty nullified the score and the Gamecocks were forced to punt again.

Auburn scored on its next possession as quarterback Bo Nix found Eli Stove on a slant for an 11-yard touchdown. The score remained 9-0 as the Tigers’ 2-point conversion attempt, a Wildcat trick play with 300-pound freshman lineman JJ Pegues getting the snap, was unsuccessful. 

The Gamecocks’ defense seized momentum back in the 2nd quarter. On 3rd down, Nix rolled out the pocket and his pass was picked off at the 29-yard line by Horn for the junior cornerback’s 1st career interception.

It took South Carolina 5 plays to capitalize on Harris’ 4-yard touchdown run. The PAT made it 9-7 with 12:49 left in the 2nd quarter.

A 44-yard reception by Seth Williams as he was closely defended by Horn and 13-yard run by Tank Bigsby set up Auburn’s next score. After a replay review on Bigsby’s run on which it was ruled he did not fumble the football at the 1, he prompted scored on a 2-yard run to make it 16-7.

South Carolina capitalized off another turnover for a score before halftime. Jaylen Dickerson caught the deflected pass off Williams for the interception at midfield. 

The Gamecocks drove downfield and quarterback Colin Hill scored on the 1-yard sneak with 35 seconds left. South Carolina trailed 16-14 at halftime.

Auburn opened the 2nd half with a 4 minute, 35-second scoring drive capped by Carlson’s 38-yard field goal. 

South Carolina answered when Hill lifted a pass from 11 yards to a leaping Shi Smith for the go-ahead score. The Gamecocks missed the 2-point conversion, keeping the score at 20-19 in the 3rd quarter.

An interception inside the Red Zone by Auburn ended a potential scoring drive for South Carolina. Horn proceeded to collect his 2nd career interception and returned it to the Tigers 8.

The very next play saw Harris saunter into the endzone for a touchdown with 54 seconds left to extend South Carolina’s lead to 30-19

A 1-handed catch by Smith for 32 yards helped set up Parker White’s 39-yard field goal with 9:17 left in the game. Smith finished with 11 receptions for 76 yards. 

A quick drive by Auburn resulted in a 22-yard field goal by Carlson with 6:39 left to bring it within 1 possession of tying the game.

The Tigers mounted 1 final drive, but Nix was stopped 2 yards shy of the 1st down at the South Carolina 9 as time expired. 

South Carolina heads to Death Valley next week to face LSU for a 7 pm game on ESPN. The game was originally scheduled for 4 pm on the SEC Network, but was 1 of 6 schedule adjustments made by the conference.

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