All the talk this week has been on the homecoming of Auburn’s Kenny Irons and his scheduled return to Williams-Brice Stadium to face South Carolina. However, it’s brother David who will get the real test Thursday. David Irons will have the task of covering the best wide receiver in the SEC in Sidney Rice.
With the quarterback situation becoming more clear in Columbia, Rice becomes more of a threat to the Tigers defense. How good is Rice? In only 15 starts, the sophomore has already caught 18 touchdown passes. Last week, he was named the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Week after catching 9 passes for 161 yards and five touchdowns against Florida Atlantic.
The most impressive part of his performance is that he was pulled with 10 minutes left in the third quarter. It’s easy to dismiss it and say it was Florida Atlantic, but anyway you cut it, that’s pretty heady stuff.
Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier has settled on Syvelle Newton at quarterback. The results have been positive. Newton came in following the loss to Georgia and has added stability to the position. He replaced Blake Mitchell who was pulled for a number of reasons including an off the field incident at a local bar.
Newton moved over to the quarterback position after playing wide receiver. He even played tailback some last season and is a threat to run. He missed the last five games of 2005 after suffering a torn ACL in the Vanderbilt game.
In other news, South Carolina tailback Cory Boyd is questionable for the Auburn game after suffering a high ankle sprain and missing last week’s game. Auburn and South Carolina kickoff at 6:45 p.m. CST from Columbia and the game will be carried by ESPN.