SEC Championship Game, Auburn Vs. South Carolina: Cam Newton Hail Mary Gives Tigers 28-14 Halftime Lead

Update: Here's the Auburn Hail Mary video

After 28 points in one quarter, the Gamecocks and Tigers decide to slow the roll of the 2010 SEC Championship Game with a couple of well-timed turnovers.

South Carolina goes three-and-out following Auburn's third touchdown, and the Tigers appear to be slightly discombobulated on their next drive. Michael Dyer gains only two yards on first down; Cam Newton hits Darvin Adams for a 10-yard gain but throws two incompletions, and then something extraordinary happens: On 3rd-and-9, on Auburn's 30-yard line, Cam Newton loses the first fumble of his college career. There is a wiggling pile of bodies atop the ball almost immediately, and back it goes to the Gamecocks ... who hand it back themselves with a Stephen Garcia interception on second down.

Next, of course, Auburn goes three-and-out themselves, and South Carolina begins to employ Marcus Lattimore with a seriousness not seen so far this afternoon. The Gamecocks call three straight rushing plays; the freshman tailback records gains of 12 and 11 yards, while Garcia adds an additional six. A sack and a penalty set the drive back, and Spencer Lanning comes on to attempt a 51-yard field goal, which sails wide left.

South Carolina's defense bucks up admirably on Auburn's next drive. With 5:32 remaining in the half on a fresh first down, South Carolina linebacker Josh Dickerson sails through the Auburn line to bring Newton down with a 2-yard loss. On the next play, undeterred, Darvin Adams brings down a 16-yard midair catch. A holding penalty slows the Tigers' roll, and the ever-reliable Wes Byrum misses a 36-yard field goal.

The Gamecocks get into enemy territory with big plays from Lattimore, Patrick DiMarco, and Auburn pass interferers. Stephen Garcia gets a good look at the end zone but over throws D.L. Moore and South Carolina has to settle for ... a 26-yard reception by Lattimore on 3rd-and-9, and a one-yard touchdown grab by Alshon Jeffery! There's a football game brewing in what's been a foregone conclusion all week, and ...

... here we go again! Auburn has 12 seconds on the clock and a one-touchdown lead. On second down, with seven seconds remaining, Newton launches the ball 51 yards into the endzone, where it's tipped and then caught by Darvin Adams, who does not drop it. Now, for real this time, Auburn has a two-touchdown lead over South Carolina at the half, 28-14. Steve Spurrier, speaking to Tracy Wolfson: "Yeah, we looked pretty stupid on that last play."

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