USC Loses Tough One At Auburn, 35-27

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Cam Newton rushed for 176 yards and three touchdowns and passed for two more scores, leading No. 17 Auburn to another come-from-behind victory, this one 35-27 against No. 12 South Carolina on Saturday night.

The Tigers (4-0, 2-0 Southeastern Conference) overcame a double-digit halftime deficit for the second straight week after falling behind 20-7. Both of Newton’s scoring passes came in the fourth quarter after fumbles by South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia.

South Carolina (3-1, 1-1) twice drove into Auburn territory in the final minutes behind freshman backup Connor Shaw, but he was intercepted both times. Demond Washington picked off a pass that deflected off the hands of receiver Alshon Jeffery in the end zone with 33 seconds left to seal the win.

Newton was 16-of-21 passing for 158 yards and also logged 25 runs, including a 54-yard TD scamper after a nice fake handoff in the first quarter.

Auburn racked up 334 yards rushing against a defense that came in giving up a league-low 60 yards on the ground.

The Tigers trailed Clemson 17-0 late in the first half last week before winning in overtime on a missed field goal. They escaped again without needing the lucky break.

The Gamecocks had no turnovers in the first three quarters and four in the final 15 minutes to waylay a bid for their first 4-0 start since 2001. South Carolina was also seeking SEC win No. 107 for coach Steve Spurrier, which would have given him sole possession of second-place behind Alabama’s Bear Bryant. Instead, the Gamecocks left with their sixth straight loss in league road games and fifth in a row against Auburn since joining the SEC.

Shaw took them downfield on both his drives but, threw the ball right to linebacker Josh Bynes under pressure for an interception at the 11 to end the first. Auburn failed to get a first down and run out the clock on three straight Newton runs, but then capitalized on one of the few balls Jeffery didn’t bring down.

He had eight catches for 192 yards and caught two of Garcia’s three touchdown passes. Garcia went 15-of-21 passing for 235 yards, but was sacked three times and had two costly fumbles before being pulled in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers’ Michael Dyer won the battle of highly touted freshman running backs, outgaining Marcus Lattimore 100-33.

Dyer had 23 carries but Lattimore was stymied early and only carried 14 times after emerging as a workhorse coming into the game.

The defense and Newton’s timely passing carried the day in the end.

He completed a 7-yard touchdown pass to tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen to take a one-point lead early in the fourth.

Then, Emory Blake jumped over a diving defender and just pushed the ball over the goal line for a 10-yard TD with 6:23 left. The Gamecocks had earlier missed an extra point.

It was still a one-score game because a false start penalty negated a touchdown to open the fourth, then Wes Byrum’s 23-yarder went off the right cross bar.

The Gamecocks wore stickers on their helmets honoring former receiver Kenny McKinley, who was found dead in his Colorado home Monday from what authorities think was a suicide.