COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina learned once again that it's got a long way to go if it hopes to succeed in the Southeastern Conference, and especially against Auburn this weekend.
The Gamecocks got solid and timely showings from their quarterbacks, their rushing game and their defense in a 38-19 victory over lower division Furman on Saturday night.
South Carolina improved to 3-0 for the first time in three seasons and jumped a spot to 12th in the rankings.
However, the Gamecocks' performance against Furman was filled with stumbles they know will cost them if repeated during SEC play.
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said his team was outperformed in many areas by the Paladins of the FCS Southern Conference. He was glad the breakdowns came when the Gamecocks had a sizable lead.
Auburn coach Gene Chizik wants his offense to play more physical. Chizik said Tuesday he's delivered that message to the 17th-ranked Tigers the past two days. He says getting physical will be key if Auburn is to beat No. 12 South Carolina Saturday night.
The Gamecocks rank in the Top 10 nationally in both scoring defense and run defense, allowing 12.7 points and 59.7 rushing yards a game. They hope to get injured linebacker Shaq Wilson back for the game.
Auburn's offense is something of an enigma. The Tigers have run three times more than they've passed and the offensive line is the most experienced group on the team.
But the complaints of lack of physicality persist. Guard Byron Isom says the linemen are "definitely going to respond" to Chizik's message.