Auburn took possession first to open the second half. The Tigers drove the ball to the USC 34 yard line where the opted to punt when faced with a fourth and four.
Ace Sanders called for a fair catch on his own 11. Stephen Garcia completed an 11 yard pass to Bruce Ellington to start the drive but they ended up punting after three straight Marcus Lattimore runs failed to produce another first down. Fans started booing.
After a 59 yard punt Auburn took over the ball on its own 25 yard line. Tigers running back Michael Dyer left the game following a second down run. He limped off the field on his own power (He returned later in the game and appeared fine). Auburn ended up punting a few plays later.
USC ended up getting the ball on the 50 yard line after the Tigers were flagged for kick catch interference on the punt. On the first play from scrimmage Stephen Garcia connected with Bruce Ellington on a 35 yard pass to the Tigers 15. On the next play Marcus Lattimore pounded his way into the end zone to give the Gamecocks the lead back. The extra point put USC ahead 13-9 with 5:58 left in the third quarter. The drive covered 50 yards in two plays and took 46 seconds.
Auburn moved the ball into USC territory on its next possession but they ended up punting from their own 46. USC took over on its own 12. A few plays later Stephen Garcia tossed his second interception of the game on another pass that was nowhere near an intended receiver.
Auburn returned the interception near midfield. Three plays later Trotter threw an interception to C.C. Whitlock but Whilock fumbled it back to the Tigers during his return attempt. That gave the Tigers the ball back near midfield with a new set of downs.
The Tigers moved the ball into USC territory and faced a second and eight from the Gamecock 39 as the third quarter ended.
THIRD QUARTER SCORE: USC 13, AUBURN 9