The game, set to kick off at 6:45 p.m., is Auburn’s fourth night game in a row and the second in a row to be broadcast in ESPN 3D.
This will mark the first meeting between the two teams since 2006.
Auburn head coach Gene Chizik said this will be the best football team he has played against this season.
“They’re just a very sound, solid football team with a lot of talent, and they’re very well-coached as you would imagine,” Chizik said. “It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”
Currently, Auburn leads the series 6-1-1.
This will be the first meeting between the two where both teams are nationally ranked.
South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said his team is looking forward to the matchup.
“They’ve been very successful this year, and they closed with a good victory in the Outback Bowl last year,” Spurrier said. “They have a lot of momentum going, a big crowd, and it should be a loud and exciting game.”
Auburn currently has the best rushing offense in the SEC, and South Carolina has the best rush defense in the league.
Additionally, Auburn leads the nation in passing efficiency, yards-per-attempt and touchdown percentage.
Spurrier said his team will be challenged to defend Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.
“You have to get a good grasp on a quarterback that’s that big, strong and elusive,” Spurrier said. “He’s a good athlete back there. He may have as many rushing yards as their tailbacks, but he’s a good runner and passer. We have to slow him down, definitely.”
South Carolina has not defeated an SEC opponent on the road since Kentucky in 2008.
A win over Auburn would give the Gamecocks its first 4-0 start since 2001.
From a recruiting standpoint, South Carolina has no players from the state of Alabama, but Auburn has one from South Carolina—offensive lineman Eric Mack from St. Matthews.
South Carolina has been the best in the league in the red zone, ranking first in the SEC in both red zone offense and defense.
Offensively, the Gamecocks are 12-for-12 in red zone opportunities, scoring 10 touchdowns along with two field goals.
Conversely, the Gamecock defense has allowed just six scores in 11 opportunities, with all six being field goals.
“This is another SEC brand of football,” Chizik said. “It’s fast, physical, hard-hitting. Everything starts in the SEC on the line of scrimmage. Watching them on film, they play on the other side of the line of scrimmage. There’s no question about that.”
A breakout freshman for South Carolina, tailback Marcus Lattimore has rushed for 333 yards on 70 carries, scoring five of South Carolina’s 10 offensive touchdowns on the season.
“Just watching him on film, he just looks really good,” Chizik said. “He doesn’t run the ball like a freshman. He’s physical, he’s everything we saw in recruiting. He’s doing a great job.”
Spurrier’s team is making preparations for the Auburn home crowd, which Chizik credits for many big wins.
“We’ve been in loud places before, although we haven’t tested our new ‘call the plays at the line’ (strategy) on the road yet,” Spurrier said. “We haven’t used a silent count yet. Hopefully, we can pick up our foot, snap it and stay onside.”
Chizik said his team wasn’t as physical as it needed to be against Clemson, but was working on being tougher.
“This is going to be three very physical games in a row for our football team,” Chizik said. “I don’t feel like this past week we were as physical as we needed to be. We’ll be up to the challenge, and we’ll be ready for it, and it ought to be a lot of fun.”