As we did a quick little update on the No. 1 team in the country, we feel obligated to do the same for the No. 2 team.
We also feel obligated to say that, my goodness, that play at the end of the half could be a soul breaker for South Carolina.
Thanks to a Hail Mary heave with no time left in the second quarter, Auburn has staked itself to a 28-14 halftime lead and left themselves on the precipice of an appearance in the national title.
That final play, though. Wow. Cam Newton, in the midst of a performance for the SEC title game ages, launched your prototypical, end-of-the-half desperation pass with 0:01 showing on the clock. It traveled roughly 60 yards in the air and, one deflection later, landed softly in the waiting arms of wide receiver Darvin Adams for a 51-yard touchdown and a 14-point lead.
Newton, if he hadn’t already, has locked up the Heisman with his play in the first half, accounting for 318 — 281 passing, 37 rushing — of the Tigers’ 348 yards of total offense. Oh, and he also accounted for all four Auburn touchdown, with three through the air and one on the ground.
A touchdown reception by Alshon Jeffery with just :16 left in the second should’ve sent the Gamecocks into the half with both the momentum and just a seven-point deficit; Newton’s ongoing brilliance — and great field position on the ensuing kickoff — burst that bubble, and could, when looking at it from the rear view, be the play that officially launched the Tigers’ on a road trip to Glendale next month.
UPDATED 6:33 p.m. ET: I was remiss in not mentioning that Darvin Adams’ 217 yards receiving is an SEC title game record for an entire game.