2010 SEC Championship Preview
On Saturday, December 5th, the Georgia Dome in Atlanta will host the SEC Championship between Auburn and South Carolina. Auburn enters the game as the number one team in the country with a perfect 12-0 record. South Carolina is currently ranked 19th after putting together a 9-3 regular season. A win for Auburn and they will be playing in the BCS National Championship Game. If Steve Spurrier can lead the Gamecocks to victory they will earn the automatic BCS bid for the SEC and will play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
The player to watch in this game is Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. Newton has been outstanding this season and is the front runner for the Heisman Trophy. Whether he’s throwing or running, Newton has been a force to be reckoned with. Newton has 2,254 yards passing and 1,336 yards rushing on the year, and has accounted for 42 total touchdowns. He has also made headlines this year after allegations were made that he sought money during the recruiting process. The NCAA continues to look into the matter, and no conclusions have been reached.
With Cam Newton at the helm, Auburn has had an explosive offense this season averaging over 41 points per game. Auburn has scored over 50 points in a game 5 times this year and went over the 60 point mark in two of those games. South Carolina’s offense has been solid this year behind quarterback Stephen Garcia and freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. Garcia’s favorite target is 6’4″ wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey who has 1,351 yards on the year. The Gamecocks have averaged over 33 points per game. Defensively, the Gamecocks seem to have a slight edge allowing only 20.5 points per game while Auburn gives up 25.
Auburn and South Carolina met on September 25th this year and the home team Auburn Tigers came out with a 35-27 win. The Gamecocks got out to a 20-7 lead in the first half before letting Auburn back in the game with turnovers. Stephen Garcia fumbled twice in the fourth quarter and Cam Newton followed each turnover with a touchdown pass to lead Auburn to the come from behind victory. In addition to Garcia’s fumbles, backup quarterback Connor Shaw was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter. Newton finished the game with 3 rushing touchdowns to go with his 2 touchdown passes.
2010 SEC Championship Game Prediction
A lot is on the line when South Carolina and Auburn meets for the SEC title game. The two teams know each other well and I expect a physical football game. Despite their undefeated record Auburn is not invincible. Auburn has trailed at half time in 3 of their games this season including the first meeting with South Carolina. Newton has been able to lead Auburn from behind to some close victories. I think the big difference maker is going to be Newton. South Carolina will not be able to stop Newton, but if they can at least limit him by forcing turnovers and keeping him off the field they have a chance. In the end, Newton will be too much for the Gamecocks and Auburn will win and advance to the BCS National Championship Game.
Prediction: Auburn 38 – South Carolina 34