COLUMBIA, S.C. — Kevin Harris ran for two touchdowns, and South Carolina turned three interceptions thrown by Bo Nix into points to defeat No. 15 Auburn for the first time in 87 years with a 30-22 victory Saturday in a Southeastern Conference clash.
The Tigers (2-2) had won eight straight in the series and jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes. But Nix — the sophomore quarterback — threw three picks, and the Gamecocks (2-2) cashed in each time to win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year.
Shi Smith had eight catches, including a 10-yard TD grab midway through the third quarter that put South Carolina ahead for good at 20-19.
Auburn was driving on its following series when Nix threw his third interception and second to cornerback Jaycee Horn, who brought the ball down the left sideline to the Tigers 8. Harris was in the end zone a play later for a 27-19 lead, and Auburn did not recover.
The Tigers closed to 30-22 on Anders Carlson’s 22-yard field goal with 6:39 left, and Auburn got the ball back once more with 2:15 remaining and drove to the South Carolina 13. The drive lost steam when Nix was called for intentional grounding while trying to avoid a sack, and the Gamecocks held on to beat the Tigers for the first time since 1933.
South Carolina had not won back-to-back games since defeating Kentucky and Georgia last season. That win over the Bulldogs was the last time the Gamecocks had beaten a ranked opponent.
Auburn’s offense looked unstoppable in the first half and doubled up South Carolina in yards (243-119) over the first 30 minutes — except when Nix put the ball in danger.
Nix was 8-of-14 for 94 yards on the Tigers’ first two drives for a 9-0 lead. But he threw into triple coverage on the next series and was picked off by Horn, son of longtime NFL receiver Joe Horn.
Five plays later, Harris ran for a 4-yard TD to tighten things.
After Nix found Seth Williams for a 44-yard pass for the Tigers’ longest throw this year, Auburn restored its edge with Tank Bigsby’s 2-yard touchdown run to go up 16-7.
But Nix was intercepted again — this time by Jaylin Dickerson — and the Gamecocks got back in it when Hill ended an 11-play drive with a 1-yard run.
Nix had 272 yards passing. He was also sacked three times.
Bigby, the Auburn freshman, had 111 yards rushing and went past the century mark for a second straight game.