O-A News sports staff
The Opelika-Auburn News sports staff makes its picks, with predictions from Auburn beat writer Jordan Hill, sports intern Jake Weese and deputy editor Justin Lee.
JORDAN HILL: Finley was the hero of Auburn’s fourth game this year but has very limited playing time outside of that performance against Georgia State. I believe he’ll play fairly well, and while I do think he’ll turn the ball over once, the sophomore will do his part to have Auburn in the mix on the road.
How does TJ Finley play in his first start for Auburn?
Greg McWilliams/For the O-A News
Can Auburn bounce back on the road at South Carolina?
JAKE WEESE: TJ’s appeared in six games this season, but it really hasn’t felt like that since most of his reps came in the Georgia State game. Even though he has previous starting experience from his time at LSU, I think Finley might have some growing pains against the Gamecocks, but he’ll find the end zone at least once.
JUSTIN LEE: Auburn’s coaches should plan to protect Finley in his first start at Auburn, and with players like Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter, it’s on the coaches if they can’t do that. Finley shouldn’t have many more than 20 pass attempts. If he can avoid the big turnovers, I think he can do enough to put Auburn in position to win.