Gamecocks defeat Auburn Tigers behind ZaQuandre White’s monster game

Behind running back ZaQuandre White’s monster game, the Gamecocks beat the Tigers with a final...
Behind running back ZaQuandre White’s monster game, the Gamecocks beat the Tigers with a final of 21-17.(Sean Rayford | AP)
Published: Nov. 20, 2021 at 8:27 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2021 at 12:13 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks were back home in Columbia to take on the Auburn Tigers in their final SEC game of the season.

Behind running back ZaQuandre White’s monster game, the Gamecocks beat the Tigers with a final of 21-17. The Gamecocks are now bowl eligible.

“Just don’t count us out,” said quarterback Jason Brown.

The Gamecocks came off a tough loss to the Missouri Tigers in a frantic fourth-quarter comeback effort that ultimately came up short.

RELATED | Battle of Columbia: Gamecocks comeback falls short vs. Missouri Tigers

Nonetheless, the team looked to bounce back. This game determined if the Gamecocks go into their final match versus Clemson above or below .500.

South Carolina last beat Auburn in a memorable 2020 matchup that marked their first win against the Tigers since 1933.

But it wasn’t coach Will Muschamp at the helm this time. Head coach Shane Beamer led the Gamecocks to victory.

“So happy for our fans,” said Beamer. “These guys just work. They come back every single week and are a fun group to be around. They never complain, they just work.”

Both offenses began the game a bit shakey, but the Tigers landed the first punch taking advantage of solid field position off a punt.

Quarterback TJ Finley hit Demetris Robertson on the sideline for 10 yards and the Tigers went up 7-0.

The early struggles for the Gamecocks didn’t stop there as Brown was intercepted by Donovan Kaufman.

Auburn followed up with a touchdown run by Tank Bigsby extending the lead 14-0.

“We’ve been counted out pretty much every game this entire season,” said Brown. “The way we just stayed in there and fought back... unbelievable feeling.”

The Gamecocks offense finally got rolling behind running back ZaQuandre White, who had the game of his life. On a fourth and two, Shane Beamer got aggressive and boy was it worth it.

Brown found a wide-open White for 28 yards and a touchdown, cutting into the 14 point Tiger lead.

On the ensuing drive, Auburn went for it on fourth and one from their own 35-yard line. The Gamecock defense shut down the play and got the ball in great field position.

Seconds before halftime, South Carolina snuck in another touchdown on a pass to their fullback Trai Jones and tied the game 14 all at the half.

The Tigers opened the third with a field goal to push the lead to 17-14.

But the Gamecocks fought back on their next 6-play drive. The connection between Jason Brown and Josh Vann proved to be lethal yet again.

On a third and goal, Brown connected with Vann for a touchdown putting the Gamecocks up for the first time, 21-17.

They didn’t fold that lead for the rest of the game.

Auburn became extremely aggressive late in the third, going for it on a fourth and 16 and converted in Gamecock territory. They would make it to the 8-yard line where they would be stopped on third down.

On fourth and goal, Tigers kicker Ben Patton missed a chip-shot 25-yard field goal. The miss proved critical as Auburn now needed a touchdown in order to win the game.

The Gamecocks got the ball back with about three minutes to go. All they had to do was possess and run out the clock.

South Carolina did not convert on third down and punted the ball back to Auburn.

On that punt, it seemed that the ball may have been touched by an Auburn player.

On a controversial call that got replayed multiple times, the officials ruled that a Tigers player had in fact touched the ball.

South Carolina retained possession. This time, they ran the clock to triple zeros.

The Gamecocks will be at home for their final game of the season versus the Clemson Tigers.

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