An SEC East matchup is on tap this weekend as Vanderbilt Commodores travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks’ chance of being bowl eligible took a big hit with their loss to Tennessee. South Carolina is 3-5 overall and 2-2 at home. The Gamecocks have one game to give the rest of the way if they want to still be playing in December. Four games remain on the regular season schedule, two against ranked teams (Clemson and Appalachian State), another one on the road in Kyle Field when they play Texas A&M and then this week against Vanderbilt. The Commodores look like their weakest opponent on paper. However, they are coming off a bye week and a win against ranked Missouri.
South Carolinas offense has been almost nonexistent in the second half in the last two weeks. A garbage-time touchdown saved the Gamecocks from being shut out in the fourth quarter against the Gators. The next week they went scoreless in the second half of a 20-point Tennessee loss. On the bright side, Ryan Hilinski has not looked bad for the Gamecocks. The Freshman quarterback has thrown for eight touchdowns, over 1,500 yards and only three interceptions. Shi Smith has also been elite serving as Hilinski’s number one target.
Some good news for SC is that the Commodores enter this game last in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing close to 34 points a game. Vanderbilt doesn’t have a great pass rush, and they have struggled to do much to keep the better lines out of the backfield. South Carolina doesn’t give up tackles for loss, and Javon Kinlaw and company on the defensive front should be able to bother the Commodores’ offense.
Coming back from a bye week and upsetting Missouri, the Commodores are ready to take on the Gamecocks. With momentum on their side, Mo Hasan and the Vanderbilt offense should be looking to have a day against a shaky secondary. The Gamecocks have allowed over 850 yards in the last three games, and got torn up by Kyle Trask. The key for the Commodores is just to keep pressing. Running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn is coming off a huge game and will be able to keep USC on their toes.
On the other side of the ball, Vanderbilt’s secondary held senior Mizzou quarterback Kelly Bryant to 13 of 26 completions, 140 yards and an interception. In defeat, the Tigers offered a weak 140 yards passing, and 150 rushing yards against Vanderbilt’s defense. Vanderbilt averages 335.4 total yards for and 455.6 yards against. The Commodores’ 18.4 points per game ranks #118 FBS and their defense allows 33.6 points per outing, ranking #111 FBS.
Scene setter. ⚓️#RTI | #AnchorDown pic.twitter.com/vaN8yU7Nlv
— Vanderbilt Football (@VandyFootball) October 31, 2019
You can catch this matchup between these two SEC teams this Saturday on SEC Network starting at 7:30 p.m. EST.