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The South Carolina Gamecocks are bowl eligible after a come-from-behind, 21-17 win over Auburn Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
Trailing 14-0 in the second quarter, South Carolina quarterback Jason Brown threw two touchdown passes for a 14-14 tie at the half and threw a third touchdown pass in the third quarter for the Gamecocks (6-5, 3-5 SEC), who finished 2-8 last season.
“Just so happy for these players,” first-year South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said. “To be bowl eligible after they won two games last year. Just so happy.”
Brown only completed 10 of 15 passes for 157 yards, but he made them count. His 7-yard touchdown pass to Josh Vann put the Gamecocks up 21-17 with 4:57 left in the third quarter. He threw a 3-yard touchdown to Trai Jones with 24 seconds to go before halftime for a 14-14 tie. Brown threw a 28-yard touchdown to ZaQuandre White to cut Auburn’s lead to 14-7 with 6:15 to go in the second quarter.
“I don’t know what our fans have planned for December, but we’re going bowling,” Beamer said.
Auburn (6-5, 3-4 SEC) dropped its third straight game and blew a significant lead for the second week in a row. The Tigers led Mississippi State, 28-3, in the second quarter last week before a 43-34 loss for the biggest blown lead in Auburn history.
Auburn took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on this night with a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback T.J. Finley to Demetris Robertson and a 7-yard touchdown run by tailback Tank Bigsby, who finished with 164 yards on 22 carries.
“It was ugly early,” Beamer said. “But nobody panicked.”
Finley started in place of regular starter Bo Nix, who was lost for the season last week with an ankle injury. Finley completed 17 of 32 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown.
Auburn threatened to take the lead early in the fourth quarter when it reached inside the Gamecocks’ 10-yard line, but it had to settle for a Ben Patton field goal attempt. He missed from 25 yards away.
Patton’s 37-yard field goal in the third quarter put Auburn up 17-14. Auburn has scored a total of nine points in the second half in its last three games.
OLE MISS 31, VANDERBILT 17
No. 12 Ole Miss won seven home games for the first time in school history with a 31-17 victory over Vanderbilt at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi, on Saturday night. The Rebels were a 36-point favorite.
Ole Miss (9-2, 5-2 SEC) can record 10 victories in a regular season for the first time in school history if it wins at No. 25 Mississippi State (7-4, 5-3 SEC) on Thanksgiving night (6:30 p.m., ESPN). State beat Tennessee State, 55-10, early Saturday.
“We’ve got to get ready already,” Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin said. “They got a six-hour head start on us.”
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral completed 27 of 36 passes for 326 yards and two touchdowns in his last home game as a Rebel.
LSU 27, LOUISIANA-MONROE 14
The Tigers looked lackadaisical in a 13-point win as a 28-point favorite at Tiger Stadium in a late game Saturday night.
Quarterback Max Johnson did complete 22 of 33 passes for 319 yards with a 67-yard touchdown to Malik Nabers for a 17-0 lead in the second quarter. Johnson added a 42-yard touchdown pass to Brian Thomas Jr. for a 17-7 lead in the third quarter.
LSU (5-6, 2-5 SEC) will have to beat No. 16 Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3 SEC) in Baton Rouge on Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN) to qualify for a bowl.
Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden dropped to 4-7 in his first season as ULM’s coach. ULM offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez, the former head coach at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona, saw his unit held to 311 yards. His son, junior quarterback Rhett Rodriguez, completed 12 of 22 passes for 157 yards with a touchdown and an interception.