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Auburn Football Theater 2020: 2011 South Carolina

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Auburn Football Theater 2020

Greetings from the SOL…ok so not really but it feels like I/we are. Given the recent events of all the fun stuff on the planet being taken away from us, I thought we needed a left turn. Normally I keep my humor and my point and laugh shenanigans to a minimum this time of year, what with College Baseball just rev’ing up, buuut…yeah. So, since I have a freaking ton of Auburn football wins in my digital collection, why not laugh a little bit. A lot has been made of the best wins at Jordan-Hare or the best games in Auburn history, but what about those wins that we would rather forget? If Auburn had pulled out the Florida game this past season or the Tennessee game in 2018, would those be celebrated or just pushed aside? Where’s the moment in the sun for the 1996 Independence Bowl against Army, or the 2003 Arkansas game, or what about the 2018 Southern Miss victory?? Well, my friends, I have taken it upon myself to go into the theater and recap the Top 10 Worst Auburn Football victories that I have my library of 200+ Auburn wins.

Therefore…

The Mads have released the first of the stink burgers and if this is the number 10 game, I am in for it.

#10 – 2011 – Auburn @ #10 South Carolina

WE’VE GOT FOOTBALL SIGN!!!!

First a little background on this first, the Tigers entered Williams-Brice with a 3-1 record with rousing victories over Utah State, #16 Mississippi State and FAU coupled with the first “big” win of Dabo’s time at Clemson (I say big because…this Auburn team was passable, but not firing at peak performance let’s say). On the other side, Carolina had a good news bad news situation. The good news was that Carolina was undefeated and already had a win over Georgia to their name, because of this…

HAHA, *sigh*, oh Georgia.

Where was I, OH YEAH! The bad news for Carolina…well the bad news was that Stephen Garcia was their QB.

Yeah…that’s real bad news. Garcia had a rough go of it the prior week in a 21-3 win over Vandy when he threw 4 picks…4 PICKS! Against Vandy! Don’t believe me??

Yeah, you will next time won’t you! So, all of this added up to…something that CBS really wanted to put on the air as the lead in to #3 alabama against #12 Will Muschamp and Florida...mother of God. With all that said, let’s dive in to this one, the 10th worst Auburn win that we actually can prove happened with video!

THE GAME

It’s important to have two strong men on the call, leading you through games like this, that pit two sloid teams with great field generals like Stephen Garcia and Barrett Trotter/Kiehl Frazier. So who did CBS send for this one? Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein

Alright, let’s finally get started. Carolina would get the ball first and not do much with it, punting after 3 plays and would give Auburn the ball. The Tigers would drive down the field and looked like they would punch it in for the early TD but the drive stalled and Auburn would settle for the Field Goal to lead 3-0. So far so good right…Ah you forgot that Stephen Garcia is playing in this game.

Sure, Garcia looked like that punter from the Michigan-Michigan State game a few years back, but damn it if he still doesn’t gain 8 yards on the play. The drive would continue but Marcus Lattimore would fumble and after a overly long review, Auburn gets the ball and set their sights on adding to their lead…or would they?

So, ok. The play is totally there. The throw, as far as the form used by CJ is great, however, he hit the X button a touch too early on the distance meter and it cost him. So, back to Garcia Mode and after a nice run by Lattimore, it was go time for GC.

OH THOSE PESKY AUBURN SPECIAL TEAMS!! Just when you thought this would be a normal 17-10, 24-14 game, HECK NO! It’s gonna get weird. Also, while we are here, Jeffery did have a hand on T-Bell but…I wouldn’t call that a push Steve.

Auburn would then muff the kickoff but get it back to near the 20 but would go 4 yards back and give the Gamecocks the ball on their own 38. However…

Don’t you dare think that Stephen is gonna take advantage of decent field position and a lead! Punt time again and it was time for Auburn to see what Kiehl and Barrett could do together. Impressively, both help Auburn move the ball deep inside Carolina territory as we start the second quarter…OH GOD WE’RE ONLY IN THE SECOND QUARTER! Auburn would take the lead on a Dyer Diving TD and the PAT would make it 10-6 Tigers.

Make that 9-6.

Carolina would take the kick, march absolutely no where in 3 plays and give it back to Auburn. And now comes the most confusing things I think I have ever seen. There is no possible way that I could explain what happens here so, here it all is. Viewer discretion is advised.

That was a thing that happened. Auburn would punt 2 plays later and…you guessed it. It’s Garcia Time.

Pick number 1 for our hero and we will see if the Head Ball Coach will put in Connor Shaw in place of the greatest player ever. Auburn couldn’t do a thing with it so they punted to the Carolina 1. USC would get it out to the 25 before giving it back to the Tigers and Auburn would begin a march from their own 35 down for a Field Goal try with just over a minute left in the half.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the fake FG pass from outside the 5 yard line, for this exact reason. Too much space and…as we found out just 2 years later…you don’t have speed guys on your FG team…just big guys.

Carolina would run out the clock and we are half way home with Auburn holding a 9-6 lead.

To start the second half, Auburn would get the ball…

And Auburn punts.

The teams would trade possessions and Carolina would get the ball at the 50. 2 plays later, its 13-9 Carolina after a Lattimore run.

The Tigers would look to answer but have to punt back to Carolina.

And there’s our favorite quarterback! Auburn has to take this one from the 50 and punch it right in to salt this one away!

….Ok it’s 1st and 10 again! Auburn would actually march down the field, mainly on the ground, and decided to go to the air to finish the drive.

Well…it finished the drive, that’s for sure. You, like I, may think that the defender dropped the ball on the back end there. It was reviewed but there was no definitive evidence that the ball hit the ground. Auburn would end up getting the ball back with about 5 minutes to go and would begin the march to paydirt. Auburn would face a 3rd and 5 with a minute and a half left when they would go back to an old favorite with a bit of a twist.

You know it wouldn’t come easy in this one. Lutzy not only makes the play but adds the extra difficulty of fumbling and recovering it with less than 3 feet left in the field of play! The man was an artist!

Garcia would get the ball back with just over a minute to play and began the march! They would get in to Auburn territory with 8 seconds left…

Well, that’s something! Why oh why would you want to extend this game??? Let’s hear it from the man himself.

I mean he’s right. He was down, sure, but there’s no way you can add more time to an expired clock…right Nick?

The Afterglow

Following this, both teams would go in opposite directions. Auburn would checkerboard the rest of their season, losing one and winning the next, all the way to the Peach Bowl and finishing with a win over Virginia and closing at 8-5. South Carolina would go the opposite way, closing with a strong 7-1 but this loss came at a massive price as Georgia won their next 7 SEC contests and captured the SEC East crown and ended up getting blown out by #1 LSU in Atlanta (sound familiar?). They would go on to beat Nebraska in the Citrus Bowl to cap an 11-2 season and a #9 ranking in the AP poll.

Well, that’s it for the first installment of Auburn Football Theater 2020. Hope this let you escape for a little bit as I punish myself by watching Auburn trip over themselves to try and give away a football game. Until next time…push the button Frank.