COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Kickoff is almost here inside Williams-Brice Stadium and you can tell these teams are really itching to play.
South Carolina is looking to show that its offense can actually do something when Marcus Lattimore isn't touching the ball, and Auburn wants to prove that it does have a defense somewhere out there.
These teams picked the best time to play each other and someone will come away from this game feeling much better about one particular side of the ball.
For Auburn, I'm interested to see what kind of pass rush the Tigers generate. Dee Ford, who had been rotating in and out at defensive end, is out for the season after undergoing back surgery earlier this week. That means redshirt freshman LaDarius Owens and sophomore Craig Sanders will get rotated in behind Nosa Eguae and Corey Lemonier. Expect Owens to get most of the snaps.
But the Tigers should benefit from left tackle Kyle Nunn being out of the starting lineup for South Carolina. Freshman Mike Matulis will start in his place. This is a great opportunity for Auburn to get its pass rush going by attacking the freshman. Remember, the Tigers have just three sacks on the season.
Auburn will also be without Trovon Reed at wide receiver, meaning freshman Quan Bray and senior Quindarius Carr will get much more action today. Jonathan Mincy will also start over Chris Davis at cornerback for the Tigers.