It wasn’t bad enough that Auburn coughed up a 28-3 second quarter lead last week in a 43-34 home loss to Mississippi State.
The Tigers also lost three-year starting quarterback Bo Nix for the season’s remainder with a broken ankle, as well as kicker Anders Carlson to a torn ACL. And to add one more insult to multiple injuries, they fell out of the CFP Top 25 Tuesday night.
Auburn (6-4, 3-3) will attempt to pick up the pieces on Saturday night when they visit South Carolina for another Southeastern Conference matchup in Columbia, S.C.
Nix’s absence takes away the guy who threw for 2,294 yards with 11 touchdowns and just three interceptions this year. Backup quarterback T.J. Finley, who’s 17 of 33 in six games for 275 yards and two scores, is the likely starter this week.
“He’s like every other backup quarterback that I’ve been around,” Tigers coach Bryan Harsin said of Finley. “It’s his opportunity to go out there and play the entire game and have a chance to prepare and practice with the reps this week like the starter.”
Meanwhile, the Gamecocks (5-5, 2-5) are searching for one more win to become bowl eligible. They could have gotten it last week, but lost 31-28 at Missouri, giving up 209 rushing yards to Tyler Badie.
South Carolina sliced a 31-14 fourth quarter deficit to three points, but never got the ball back after it scored with 4:32 left, as Badie rushed for 57 yards on Missouri’s final drive.
“We looked like a team that had been patting itself on the back at times and that’s disappointing,” said first-year coach Shane Beamer, referring to the Gamecocks’ 40-17 rout of Florida the previous week. “That’s on me.”
Beamer spent part of Tuesday re-affirming his commitment to South Carolina after news broke that his alma mater, Virginia Tech, fired Justin Fuente. Beamer played for his father, Frank, at Tech. News reports claim Shane is a candidate to replace Fuente.
“I want to bring an SEC championship to Columbia, and we are in the beginning stages of doing that,” Beamer said to the Greenville (S.C.) News.
–Field Level Media