South Carolina quarterback Collin Hill, left, looks for a receiver as he is pressured by Florida linebacker Brenton Cox Jr. (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux, Pool)

South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt Football Preview

This weekend Vanderbilt (0-2) will be hosting South Carolina (0-2) at noon on Saturday. Both teams are looking for their first win this season.

Last week, Vanderbilt got clobbered by LSU at home 7-41. The Commodores were dominated in all aspects besides rushing.

South Carolina is also coming off a loss to Florida, 24-38. The Gamecocks ran 30 more offensive plays than the Gators but were still unable to put up more points.

Ironically, South Carolina’s last win was against Vanderbilt last season. The Gamecocks defeated Vanderbilt 24-7. This pushed South Carolina’s win streak over Vandy to 11 games.

This will be Vanderbilt’s second consecutive home game and USC’s second consecutive road game.

What To Expect from South Carolina

It was a rough start to the Gamecocks season. They faced two ranked teams in a row, Tennessee and Florida. There were opportunities in both games for South Carolina to win, but the team’s focus sputtered out in the end. Vanderbilt is a perfect team to face for the Gamecocks to get into the win column.

Muschamp is 26-27 as the South Carolina head coach. This includes a 4-11 mark over the Gamecocks’ last 15 games, going back to the Belk Bowl loss to Virginia.

If South Carolina wants to win, they need to feed their top two running backs. Running back Kevin Harris is coming off a 100 yard game against Florida, managing a rushing and receiving touchdown.

If Vanderbilt is able to stop the run, South Carolina can look to their stud wide receiver Shi Smith. Smith already has 225 yards receiving in two games. Looks like Collin Hill has already found his go-to guy through the air. Just under half his yards on the season have gone to Smith.

What to Expect from Vanderbilt

If Vandy wants to win this game, they have to win the battle on the line. Last week, quarterback Ken Seals was sacked twice and hurried eight times on just 25 attempts, including throwing two interceptions.

Vanderbilt’s offensive line had many preseason opt-outs, so this is to be expected. Even though Seals is a confident kid, he is only a freshman and still getting comfortable playing college ball. If all else fails, lean on Ja’Veon Marlow, the teams’ running back. He is coming off an 83-yard game against LSU. Marlow is also averaging 4.5 yards a pop.

On the other side of the ball, Vanderbilt was unable to record a sack, let alone apply any pressure to LSU’s quarterback. If Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason schemes correctly, he could have the defense play more conservative and less aggressive.

The Gamecocks offense seems to run shorter passing plays and outside runs. This way, Vandy could play into their strengths and cause issues for the South Carolina offense.

Both teams are hoping to turn their season around and get their first win so it should be a competitive game. Although South Carolina is favored, Vanderbilt still wants to come out and fight.

The Gamecocks have much more to lose. If Vanderbilt can pull off an upset, Muschamp and the team may be in trouble.

About Andrew Cairns

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