Sports

South Carolina-Vanderbilt Preview

GAMECOCKS LOOK TO KEEP MOMENTUM ROLLING ON THE ROAD AGAINST COMMODORES By REECE FUNDERBURK  ||  The No. 14 University of South Carolina football team pulled a huge upset win over then-No. 6 Georgia last weekend in Columbia.  Now head coach Steve Spurrier’s squad looks to build on its two-game win…

GAMECOCKS LOOK TO KEEP MOMENTUM ROLLING ON THE ROAD AGAINST COMMODORES

reeceBy REECE FUNDERBURK  ||  The No. 14 University of South Carolina football team pulled a huge upset win over then-No. 6 Georgia last weekend in Columbia.  Now head coach Steve Spurrier’s squad looks to build on its two-game win streak and get over .500 in Southeastern Conference play for the first time this year against the Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2, 0-1 SEC).

While Vanderbilt has enjoyed success in recent years, this isn’t one of those years. Replacing a majority of their team and former head coach James Franklin (now at Penn State) has not worked out well so far for this rebuilding program.  And while it’s never easy to win on the road in the SEC, the Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) are heavy favorites in their first foray outside of Williams-Brice Stadium this season.

Here is how the two teams grade out position wise:

Quarterbacks

Competition has been the word used around the Vanderbilt program in describing the quarterback situation this season – and arguably the last few years, too. First-year head coach Derek Mason has told us Patton Robinette will be starting Saturday night – but from there on no one knows for sure who will play when … which does not bode well for the Commodores.  South Carolina has Dylan Thompson, a fifth-year senior who through three games this season has already thrown for eight touchdowns and more than 900 yards.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Running Backs

While this position is solid for Vanderbilt, starter Ralph Webb is a freshman and will be dealing with a team that just faced possibly the best running back in the country in Todd Gurley.  South Carolina will start either Brandon Wilds or Mike Davis this weekend but regardless of who’s out there getting touches, South Carolina has better athletes and greater depth at this position.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Wide Receivers

The Commodores are looking to replace Jordan Matthews – the SEC’s career leader in receptions and receiving yardage.  So far that hasn’t been an easy transition.  While Vanderbilt won’t be looking to throw the ball too much, their leading receiver is C.J Duncan, a freshman who comes into the game with just 130 yards.  No one else on the team has over 100 yards.  By contrast, South Carolina already has four receivers with more than 100 yards.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Tight Ends

Vanderbilt’s second leading receiver is tight end Steven Scheu, a junior from Evansville, Indiana. He’s a  good safety blanket for whoever is under center but his main job is blocking.  In Rory Anderson and Jerrell Adams, South Carolina has two of the best multi-dimensional tight ends in the country.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Offensive Line

South Carolina’s unit played exactly how it was supposed to against Georgia: Physical and dominant.  Vanderbilt’s line played same way last week.  The only problem?  The Commodores were playing UMASS …

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Defensive Line

Starting to see the trend here?  South Carolina’s much-maligned defensive line stepped up last weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs and if that effort is duplicate this week this unit should have no trouble getting a fair amount of pressure on whoever is in the backfield for Vanderbilt.  The Commodores have giant defensive tackles – notably Vince Taylor – however they have struggled to show explosiveness so far this season.  Of interest?  Both teams are transitioning into a 3-4 scheme.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Linebackers

Led by Skai Moore, South Carolina’s linebacking corps faced its toughest challenge this season trying to slow down Georgia. The Gamecocks came out alright, but they’re still having trouble getting teams off the field on third downs. The Commodores are very young at this position. While Darreon Herring is a junior, their other three starters are all sophomores or freshman with most only have two games worth of starting experience.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Secondary

Vanderbilt’s defensive secondary has fared very well so far this season despite playing against poor competition.  Meanwhile South Carolina has played poorly – albeit against quality competition.  This is the one position that could arguably go either way just from what we’ve seen right now but, only one unit has been tested every game this season.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina has matured every week so far this season.  Beating Georgia was a huge step in the right direction, but this year’s trip to Nashville represents your typical trap game – featuring the possibility of an emotional letdown.  If the Gamecocks can focus, though – and avoid playing to the level of their competition – they should win handily.

FINAL: SOUTH CAROLINA 38-13

Saturday’s game from Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee kicks off at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The SEC Network is televising the game nationally.  Odds makers have installed South Carolina as a three-touchdown favorite.

Reece Funderburk is currently the producer for the “Reynolds and Gunter” show on 560TheTeam Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m.  He also hosts own show “The Saturday Morning Blitz” on Saturday morning from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m. ET on WUSC 90.5 FM.  He can be found on twitter @TheSMBlitz.

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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18 comments

Smirks September 19, 2014 at 9:55 am

34-24 Gamecocks.

Reply
.. September 19, 2014 at 10:01 am

45-17 Gamecocks

Reply
shifty henry September 19, 2014 at 10:15 am

Peeking out from behind my bottle of Bulleit Rye the Magik Round Dice hiccupped—-

South Carolina…………42
Vanderbilt………………..25

Reply
Squishy123 September 19, 2014 at 10:42 am

Dirtpeckers…………. 76
Student-Athletes…..14

Reply
idcydm September 19, 2014 at 11:01 am

Vanderbilt, Northwestern and a few other like minded institution all have the same student cheer…”That’s all right. That’s OK. You’ll all work for us one day”.

Reply
shifty henry September 19, 2014 at 11:40 am

Benedict College…..
=================
Break an arm! Break a leg!
Bend-a-dick! Bend-a-dick!

Reply
Squishy123 September 19, 2014 at 2:12 pm

Friends with Benedicts

Reply
Squishy123 September 19, 2014 at 10:26 pm

I wonder how many caught that.

Squishy is my bitch September 20, 2014 at 9:16 am

Aw squishy made a little joke and no one but him upvoted it, so he commented to help people get it (perhaps they didn’t think it was funny seeing as it wasn’t) to make it seems people like him on here. No one cares about you, or your in the dirt pecker lover mother, you little bitch

shifty henry September 20, 2014 at 6:37 pm

What’s the joke?

easterndumbfuckistan September 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

South Carolina…………56
Vanderbilt………………..16

Reply
The Colonel September 19, 2014 at 11:30 am

38-17 Carolina

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The Colonel September 20, 2014 at 11:09 pm

Wow, two run backs for TDs and Vanderbilt still blows it.

Reply
Nikki Sanford September 19, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Fla. State 75
Clemson 18
Cole Stoudt never plays another down at Clemson

oh, Carolina 48 Vandy 18

Reply
9" September 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

South Carolina 21-17

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ron rabune September 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

nice informative rundown position by position. cocks 38 dores13

Reply
TontoBubbaGoldstein September 20, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Classic trap game for Sakerlina…but Vandy really is that bad…

Sakerlina 38
Vandy 13

Florida State is better than Clemson…but not that* much better. Clemson keeps it surprisingly close…

FSU 35
Clemson 31

*Last years was somewhat of an aberration, ITBGHO.

Reply
wfraser11 September 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm

They squeaked out this win. Better do better on d or better opponents will beat them for sure.

Reply

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