Darvin Adams broke the SEC championship game record for receiving yards by halftime, but it’s hard to overlook quarterback Cam Newton, who, as he has all season, did it all. The junior accounted for 408 yards and six touchdowns, earning game MVP.
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South Carolina seized momentum before halftime, pulling within 21-14 on a 1-yard Alshon Jeffery touchdown catch with 16 seconds left. It was too much time for Auburn. On the half’s final play, Newton rolled to his right and heaved a Hail Mary, which got tipped by Gamecocks cornerback Devonte Holloman right into the arms of Adams for a 51-yard touchdown with no time on the clock.
Auburn is a run-first team, but offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn saw a weakness in the Gamecocks’ 99th nationally ranked pass defense and exploited it. Newton had 281 yards at halftime, more than he had against any SEC foe in an entire game this season. All of Adams’ seven catches and 217 receiving yards came in the first half. By the end, the Tigers had 348 passing yards, a season high.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“They never gave us a chance, baby. That’s what makes it so sweet.” -- Auburn cornerback T’Sharvan Bell, as he walked into the locker room.
BY THE NUMBERS
Times South Carolina sacked Auburn quarterback Cam Newton despite hurrying him 11 times.
Number of missed field goals by South Carolina’s Spencer Lanning, who came up empty on attempts from 51 and 42 yards to finish 1-for-3 on field goal attempts.
Game-best tackles by Auburn’s T’Sharvan Bell.
Total yards of offense by Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
-- Andy Bitter, Chris White