Stephen Garcia did not speak to reporters following USC’s 16-13 loss to Auburn Saturday. Garcia’s grandfather died earlier this week and he requested Thursday to be excused from the postgame news conference. For the third straight game Garcia didn’t seem to be there mentally. His passes were all over the radar as he finished 9-23 for 160 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. He was sacked three times.
Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery said he was open most of the day but Garcia couldn’t get him the ball. “I guess he didn’t have enough time or he overthrew us on a few plays,” Jeffery said.
Even Marcus Lattimore seemed off. He lost a fumble on his second carry of the day and finished with 69 yards on 17 carries. He scored on a 15 yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
The USC defense certainly played well enough to win. Auburn ran an eye popping 92 plays Saturday. For the most part the Gamecocks kept them in check, although assistant coach Ellis Johnson admitted his unit was a little worn down at the end. The Tigers went 57 yards in 12 plays to score the game winning touchdown with 1:38 left in the game. They converted four third down plays on the drive.
Melvin Ingram was a man among boys again this week. Ingram finished the day with three and a half sacks, four and a half tackles for loss and he intercepted a pass on a fake punt. He tallied 11 tackles on the day.