USC won the toss and elected to take the ball to start the game. The Gamecocks started on the 25 after a touchback on the kickoff. The Gamecocks moved to midfield on a screen pass to Mike Davis on second down. The Gamecocks moved into Auburn territory with a 12 yard gain on third and long. One play later Shaq Roland caught a 32 yard touchdown to make it 7-0 USC with 12:34 to play in the first quarter. 7-75 2:26 on the drive for USC.
Auburn’s first possession started on the 25 after a touchback. Auburn moved the chains in the opening series with a third and five conversion. Two plays later Auburn faced a 3rd-4 and failed to convert. They punted. USC took over on its own 25.
USC picked up another big play on 2nd down, an 18 yarder on a shuttle pass to Pharoh Cooper to the USC 47. Cooper caught another pass on the next play, a 14 yarder to the Auburn 39. On the next play Mike Davis gained 28 to the Auburn 11. But the drive ended two plays later when Dylan Thompson threw a very careless interception.
After the pick, Auburn took over on its own 8. Two big runs later Auburn was at the 50. From there, the Tigers marched quickly deep into Gamecock territory and into the end zone for the game tying score on a three yard touchdown pass from Nick Marshall to Brandon Fulse. That tied the game at 7-7 with 1:33 left in the quarter. 11-92-4:55 on the drive for Auburn.
USC started its third possession of the game on its own 25 after the Auburn touchback. The Gamecocks were stuffed on a 3rd and one as the first quarter ended.