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  1. Game Recap: Football | 11/2/2019 South Carolina Beats Vandy 24-7 With Edwards' Career Game With Videos, Gallery, Box Score, Stats & More COLUMBIA, S.C. — With one of their key playmakers out injured, South Carolina again turned to dependable "old man" Bryan Edwards. Edwards caught a school record 14 passes for a career best 139 yards to lead the Gamecocks (4-5, 3-4 Southeastern) to a 24-7 win that keeps South Carolina's season from skidding into a ditch for now. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  2. BOX SCORE 7 Vanderbilt 2-6, 1-4 24 South Carolina/span> 4-5 , 3-4 Score By Quarters Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th F Vanderbilt 7 0 0 0 7 South Carolina 0 14 0 10 24 Game Recap: Football | 11/2/2019 | By JEFFREY COLLINS | Associated Press | USC Sports Information | GCF Staff Report South Carolina Beats Vandy 24-7 With Edwards' Career Game With Videos, Gallery, Box Score, Stats & More Story Links PHOTO GALLERY BOX SCORE STATISTICS (PDF) POSTGAME NOTES (PDF) QUOTES: WILL MUSCHAMP (PDF) QUOTES: SC PLAYERS (PDF) POSTGAME: WILL MUSCHAMP POSTGAME: JOYNER, EDWARDS POSTGAME: JONES, BRUNSON POSTGAME: FENWICK, HORN Next Game: Appalachian State 11/9/2019 | 7 p.m. ESPN2 COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — With one of their key playmakers out injured, South Carolina again turned to dependable "old man" Bryan Edwards. Edwards caught a school record 14 passes for a career best 139 yards to lead the Gamecocks (4-5, 3-4 Southeastern) to a 24-7 win that keeps South Carolina's season from skidding into a ditch for now. The senior shouldered the offensive load for the Gamecocks after receiver Shi Smith tweaked his hamstring this week and did not play. "He competes every down like it is his last down," South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. "I've seen that for four years now." Ryan Hilinski was 24-for-31 for 235 yards for the Gamecocks, including a 25-yard touchdown pass to Edwards midway through the fourth quarter that sealed the win. "He was hard to tackle," Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason said. "At times we knew the football was coming to him and we still had a hard time getting him down." Edwards' teammates call him "old man," in part because he is one of the few seniors on the offense and in part because he is a mature, calming presence in the locker room. That's been especially important in an up-and-down year that included an upset of No. 8 Georgia and second half collapses in losses to No. 6 Florida, North Carolina and Tennessee. "Everybody calls me 'old man.' I haven't turned 21 yet," said Edwards, who also had a 38-yard punt return late in the third quarter that flipped the field a defensive struggle. Freshman Deshaun Fenwick got his first action of 2019, running 18 times for 102 yards. Muschamp said Fenwick came to him to discuss a transfer after he didn't play the first two months of the season. "He stuck it out," Muschamp said. "He's a great example of a guy who handled adversity and fought it a little bit." The Commodores (2-6, 1-4) lost starting quarterback Riley Neal to injury after the first drive and, with Mo Hasan not playing, turned to third string Deuce Wallace. The junior was 8-for-17 for 30 yards and two interceptions. The SEC's third leading rusher, Vanderbilt's Ke'Shawn Vaughn, ran 20 times for 87 yards. The Gamecocks have won 11 straight over Vanderbilt. South Carolina is the only SEC East team that the Commodores never beat this decade. GAME CHANGER Kevin Harris scored from one yard out with 1:38 left in the first half, giving the Gamecocks a 14-7 lead that it would never relinquish. Carolina added 10 points in the fourth quarter for the 24-7 victory. KEY STAT 139 – Bryan Edwards set a career-best in catches and receiving yards in a game on Saturday, making 14 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. It was part of 440 yards of total offense in the game for the Gamecocks. UP NEXT The Gamecocks return to Williams-Brice Stadium next Saturday night (Nov. 9) to host Appalachian State. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2. Print Friendly Version
  3. Gamecocks uniform combo for Halloween weekend game with Vanderbilt Oct. 31, 2019 For Halloween weekend, South Carolina football will go with white helmets, garnet jerseys and white pants against Vanderbilt. In a spooky hype video released Thursday evening, the Gamecocks unveiled the look, which they most recently wore last year against Chattanooga.
  4. Hold on to a 2nd-half lead!! Three blown leads in the 2nd half against North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee tell the story of this season, and Muschamp has said turnovers play a vital role in that area. Muschamp noted that the Gamecocks have had 10 turnovers against Power 5 opponents this year, and 7 have been in the 2nd half. There have also been 6 possessions end on downs as the team couldn’t convert on 4th down. “We’ve been ineffective consistently throwing the football,” Muschamp said, pointing to protection, route running, accuracy with the football and field position. “It’s not one thing, it’s multiple things. We’re trying to correct, we’re trying to get it right. Thought we got off on the right start on the first play of the game last week, and felt like there were some things that we did do positive as far as those things are concerned. I’d point to some youth in some key areas. Just call it like it is. I mean, it’s hard what I’m asking some of these guys to do. … You look at the last 2nd half and the 3rd quarter against Tennessee, 3 possessions we self-inflict, you know, 5-yard penalties, a delay of game, and 2 false starts. And right now when you’re not creating explosive plays, they’re hard to overcome those.”
  5. Five things to watch: Vanderbilt Nov. 01, 2019 Another night game at Williams-Brice, and it's a game that will go a long way in determining how the Gamecocks will finish this season. They host Vanderbilt, a team they've dominated for the last decade, but they're reeling after two straight losses, including a 41-21 defeat last week at Tennessee. Before the game starts, we look at a few things to watch as South Carolina tries to keep their hopes of bowl eligibility alive this week. (VIEW ARTICLE) FREE-GAMECOCKCENTRAL
  6. Football 10/31/2019 | USC Sports Information | GCF Staff Report Carolina and Vandy Set to Battle Under the Lights 7:39 pm Kick Set for Saturday, Nov. 2 Story Links GAMEDAY CENTRAL GAME NOTES (PDF) QUICKLY: The South Carolina Gamecocks (3-5, 2-4 SEC) host the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-5, 1-3 SEC) on Saturday, Nov. 2, in another SEC Eastern Division matchup. Game time is set for 7:30 pm ET at Williams-Brice Stadium (80,250) in Columbia. SEC Network will televise the game with Tom Hart and Jordan Rodgers in the booth and Cole Cubelic working the sidelines. THE HISTORY: 2019 marks the 126th season of intercollegiate football at the University of South Carolina, dating back to 1892. It is the 113th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 611-584-44, a .511 winning percentage. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: The 2019 season marks the 50th anniversary of the 1969 South Carolina squad that won the Atlantic Coast Conference title with a perfect 6-0 mark under Paul Dietzel. That team was rewarded with a trip to the Peach Bowl. 2019 also marks the 25th anniversary of the 1994 South Carolina team that went 7-5 including the school's first bowl victory - a 24-21 win over West Virginia in the Carquest Bowl. IT JUST MEANS MORE: The 2019 season marks South Carolina's 28th year in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their lone SEC Eastern Division title in 2010. The Gamecocks are 96-125-1 (.435) all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 41-37 (.526) in conference action since the start of the 2010 season. CAROLINA VS. VANDY: This is the 29th all-time meeting between South Carolina and Vanderbilt, with the Gamecocks holding a commanding 24-4 advantage, including an 11-2 mark when the teams have met in Columbia and a 13-2 record when the games have been played in Nashville. The teams met just once (1961) before they became SEC Eastern Division rivals beginning in 1992, and have met every year since. IN DOMINATING FASHION: The Gamecocks have won each of the last 10 games between the two squads, their longest winning streak in the series, and 17 of the last 19 meetings between these two SEC Eastern Division rivals. Of the Division I FBS opponents against whom the Gamecocks have at least 10 all-time meetings, Carolina has its best winning percentage against Vanderbilt at .857. In the previous 28 outings, Vanderbilt has tallied more than 17 points just six times (24 in 2003, 28 in 2005, 24 in 2008, 25 in 2013, a record-high 34 in 2014 and 27 in 2017). THE OUTLIERS: Vanderbilt's four wins in the series have come in back-to-back fashion on two occasions - first in 1998 and '99, then again in 2007 and '08. Those four wins have been by a combined total of 22 points (17-14, 11-10, 17-6 and 24-17). THE LAST TIME THEY MET: Jake Bentley threw for 261 yards and Carolina outscored Vanderbilt 17-0 in the second half in a 37-14 win on Sept. 22, 2018 in Nashville. Rico Dowdle rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown and Shi Smith logged 119 receiving yards on just five catches, as the Gamecocks outgained the Dores 273-92 on the ground and 534-284 overall. Parker White was a perfect 3-for-3 in field goal tries. THE LAST TIME THEY MET HERE: Jake Bentley completed 19-of-29 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown and rushed six times for 47 yards and two scores to lead South Carolina to a 34-27 win over Vanderbilt on Oct. 28, 2017 in Columbia. A.J. Turner added 121 yards on the ground, as Carolina outrushed the Dores, 212-107. Kyle Shurmur had a big day for Vandy, hitting 27-of-49 passes for 333 yards and four touchdowns. IMPOSING HIS WILL: Will Muschamp is 6-1 in seven games as a head coach against the Commodores. He was a 26-21 winner in 2011 in "The Swamp," posted a 31-17 win in Nashville in 2012, dropped a 34-17 decision at Gainesville in 2013, then won by a 34-10 count in Nashville in 2014, all as the head coach at Florida. He survived a 13-10 decision to open the 2016 campaign in his Carolina debut, then won again in 34-27 in Columbia in 2018, before running his record in Nashville to 4-0 with a 37-14 rout last season. MASON IN THE JAR: Vandy head coach Derek Mason is winless in five tries against the Gamecocks. ABOUT LAST WEEK: The Gamecocks dropped a 41-21 decision at Tennessee last Saturday. The Gamecocks enjoyed a 21-17 halftime lead, but the Volunteers scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to pull away for the win, their first over a Will Muschamp-coached team in eight tries. Ryan Hilinski connected on 28-of-51 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown. Shi Smith had a career day, catching 11 passes for 156 yards, including a 75-yard scoring strike on the first play from scrimmage. The Vols countered with 485 yards of offense and scored twice on special teams. ANOTHER RECORD FOR EDWARDS: Senior wide receiver Bryan Edwards caught eight passes for 83 yards against Tennessee, becoming the school's all-time leader in pass receptions with 211, shattering the record of 207, held by Kenny McKinley. Edwards also moved past McKinley into second place on the career receiving yards list with 2,816, 226 yards behind Alshon Jeffrey's school record of 3,042. SHI BREAKS OUT: Junior wide receiver Shi Smith had a career day against Tennessee, catching 11 passes for 156 yards. He was on the receiving end of a 75-yard touchdown pass on the game's first play from scrimmage, the longest reception of his career. The 11 receptions tied for the ninth-most in a single game in school history. HILINSKI HURLS IT: True freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski completed 28-of-51 passes for 319 yards and a touchdown with no turnovers at Tennessee. Included was a 75-yard touchdown pass to Shi Smith, matching the longest pass completion of his young career. It marked the second time he has thrown over 50 passes in a game in his seven starts and also the second time he has eclipsed the 300-yard passing mark in a contest. The 51 pass attempts tied for the fifth-highest single game mark in school history. THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY: Gamecock punter Joseph Charlton had an eventful day at Tennessee. The All-America candidate boomed seven punts for a 50.7-yard average with a season long 66-yarder and four traveling 50-plus yards. He also had a punt returned 65 yards for a score, the first punt returned for a touchdown against South Carolina since the 2000 season, and had another punt blocked and recovered in the endzone for a touchdown. BENTLEY IS IN THE GARAGE: Senior Jake Bentley triggered the offense from the middle of the 2016 season through the first game of the 2019 campaign. A 6-4, 220-pounder from Opelika, Ala., Bentley suffered a Lisfranc injury to his foot on the last play against North Carolina and is out for the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery during the second week of September. Bentley logged a 19-14 record as the starting signal-caller. He ranks near the top of many Carolina career statistical categories: Pass Attempts - 1,002 (4th) Pass Completions - 626 (3rd) Completion Percentage - 62.5 (2nd) Passing Yards - 7,527 (4th) Passing Touchdowns - 55 (3rd) Career Wins - 19 (6th) Touchdowns Responsible For - 63 (t3rd) NEXT MAN UP: True freshman Ryan Hilinski has taken the starting quarterback reins. Like Bentley, Hilinski, a highly-touted 6-3, 230-pound signal-caller from California, comes from a quarterbacking family. His brother Kelly played QB at Columbia and Weber State, while his brother, the late Tyler Hilinski, was a quarterback at Washington State. Hilinski joined the team in January and went through spring drills. He made his debut against Charleston Southern by hitting his first 12 passes and finished the day 24-of-30 for 282 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception. His 259 yards in the first half is the most passing yards by a true freshman quarterback in a single half this season. He also had one rushing touchdown. He followed that up with a 36-for-57, 324-yard, two-touchdown performance against Alabama, earning SEC Freshman of the Week accolades. He recorded his second 300-yard passing game at Tennessee, completing 28-of-51 for 319 yards. He is 3-4 as a starter, connecting on 148-of-250 passes (59.2 pct.) for 1,517 yards with eight TDs and three interceptions. His 216.7 passing yards per game is tops among SEC freshmen quarterbacks and fifth overall. THE SIXTH MAN: When he got the call against Charleston Southern in week 2, Ryan Hilinki became just the sixth true freshman to start at quarterback for the Gamecocks since joining the SEC. Steve Taneyhill (1992), Mikal Goodman (1999), Lorenzo Nuñez (2015), Brandon McIlwain (2016) and Jake Bentley (2016) were the others. Here's how they each fared in their first career start:Quarterback Opp. W/L C A I Yds TD S. Taneyhill Miss State W 7 14 1 183 2 M. Goodman Ole Miss L 8 15 0 147 0 L. Nuñez UCF W 12 22 0 184 2 B. McIlwain ECU W 16 28 0 195 0 J. Bentley UMass W 17 26 0 201 2 R. Hilinski Chas. So. W 24 30 1 282 2 ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS: Making just his second career start and his first against an FBS opponent, true freshman Ryan Hilinski completed 36-of-57 passes for 324 yards with two touchdowns against Alabama, earning SEC Freshman of the Week accolades. The 57 attempts were the second-most in a single-game in school history, topped only by the 58 that Steve Taneyhill threw against East Carolina in 1994, while the 36 completions ranks third in school history, topped only by Taneyhill on two occasions - 39 vs. ECU in '94 and 38 vs. Mississippi State in 1995. Hilinski became just the second freshman in program history to throw for more than 300 yards against an SEC opponent, joining Todd Ellis, who threw for 342 yards against Georgia in 1986.PASS ATTEMPTS - GAME 1. Steve Taneyhill vs. East Carolina (10/8/94)....... 58 2. Ryan Hilinski vs. Alabama (9/14/19)................ 57 3. Todd Ellis vs. Virginia Tech (10/8/88).............. 53 Stephen Garcia at Georgia (9/12/09)................. 53 5. 4 players tied, last: Hilinski at Tenn. (10/26/19).... 51 PASS COMPLETIONS - GAME 1. Steve Taneyhill vs. East Carolina (10/8/94)....... 39 2. Steve Taneyhill vs. Mississippi St. (10/14/95).... 38 3. Ryan Hilinski vs. Alabama (9/14/19)................ 36 4. Steve Taneyhill vs. Georgia (9/2/95).................. 34 PROTECT THE BALL: Since throwing a pick-6 at Missouri, Ryan Hilinski has hurled 136 passes without an interception. Connor Shaw holds the school record for consecutive passes without an interception at 177, with Steve Taneyhill second on the list at 163. BUT HE'S SO YOUNG: Ryan Hilinski already holds the school record for a true freshman quarterback in pass completions (148), pass attempts (250) and yards passing (1,517). He is the first true freshman quarterback to have a pair of 300-yard passing games in school history. Todd Ellis had three 300-yard passing games as a redshirt freshman in 1986. DO IT ALL DAKEREON: Redshirt freshman Dakereon Joyner began the season as the number 3 quarterback, moved to wide receiver, and has now returned to quarterback on a full-time basis. Joyner saw his first extended action at quarterback at Missouri, completing 6-of-11 passes for 89 yards. He was not available for the Kentucky game with a hamstring injury, then, despite not being 100 percent, was forced into action at Georgia after Hilinski was injured. He was 6-for-12 in that contest for 39 yards and rushed six times for 28 yards. He has not played in either of the last two games while continuing to heal the hamstring. For the season, he is 13-of-24 for 128 yards, and has rushed 16 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. If Hilinski and Joyner were unavailable, Jay Urich would be next in line. A TRIO OF TAILBACKS: Running backs coach Thomas Brown has a trio of senior running backs at his disposal in Rico Dowdle, graduate transfer Tavien Feaster and Mon Denson. * Rico Dowdle (6-0, 215) started each of the first seven games before missing the Tennessee contest with a knee injury. He has rushed 78 times for 457 yards (5.9 yards per carry) and four scores. He has two 100-yard rushing games in 2019 (Alabama and Kentucky), and eight in his career. He owns 2,126 yards, 15th on the school's all-time list. He has scored 16 rushing TDs (three shy of breaking into the school's top 10) in 36 games including 25 starts. He left the Florida game with a knee injury after just one carry, the 400th of his career. * Tavien Feaster (6-0, 221) has been the Gamecocks' top rusher four times this season, rushing for 72 yards in the season opener against North Carolina, for 107 yards in the win over Kentucky, for a career-high 175 yards on 25 carries against Florida and for 80 yards at Tennessee. For the season, he has carried 101 times for 572 yards, a 5.7-yard average, with five TDs. Feaster, who played at Clemson in each of the previous three seasons, has rushed 323 times for 1,902 yards with 20 touchdowns over 49 career games including 13 starts. * Mon Denson (5-10, 215) has carried the ball in four games this season, including nine times for a career-high 118 yards against Charleston Southern, including a 57-yard touchdown burst, his third-career 100-yard rushing game. For the season, he is averaging 6.0 yards per carry, rushing 38 times for 229 yards. He has seven rushing touchdowns in 29 games including a pair of starts. NO FAMINE FOR FEASTER: When starting running back Rico Dowdle left the Florida game with a knee injury after just one carry, senior Tavien Feaster stepped in and put together the best game of his career, rushing 25 times for 175 yards and a touchdown. It was the most rushing yards for a Gamecock since Dowdle logged 226 yards against Western Carolina in 2016 and the most for a Carolina running back against an SEC opponent since Mike Davis went for 183 against Kentucky in 2014. Here are the top rushing performances by Carolina running backs against SEC defenses:Date Name Opponent Yards 11/13/10 Marcus Lattimore Florida 212 10/12/96 Duce Staley Kentucky 193 10/30/10 Marcus Lattimore Tennessee 184 10/04/14 Mike Davis Kentucky 183 09/11/10 Marcus Lattimore Georgia 17610/19/19 Tavien Feaster Florida 175 FOUR REACH THE CENTURY MARK: The Gamecocks have had four rushers reach the 100-yard mark this season, with Rico Dowdle and Tavien Feaster both eclipsing the mark twice, and Mon Denson and Kevin Harris doing so once. South Carolina is one of only seven schools in the country to have four different 100-yard rushers in a game this season, joining Air Force, Georgia Southern, Houston, Louisiana, Wake Forest and Wyoming. CATCH IT IF YOU CAN: * Bryan Edwards ranks among the best wide receivers in school history. He has caught a pass in all 46 games in which he has appeared, surpassing Kenny McKinley's mark of 43 for a school record. After being limited to just one catch for seven yards against North Carolina, Edwards has been "Mr. Consistent," catching at least five passes in every game while putting together consecutive games of 5 catches, 112 yards vs Charleston Southern, 9-for-79 vs. Alabama, 6-for-113 at Mizzou, 6-for-37 vs. Kentucky, 6-for-78 yards at Georgia, 7-for-78 vs. Florida, and 8-for-83 at Tennessee. He is the school record holder with 211 career receptions, breaking Kenny McKinley's mark of 207. Edwards also has moved past McKinley in career receiving yards with 2,816, trailing only Alshon Jeffery (3,042). Edwards owns 20 career TDs, third on the school's all-time list, behind only Sidney Rice and Alshon Jeffery's mark of 23. He has seven career 100-yard receiving games, including two this season. * Junior Shi Smith (5-10, 190) is the No. 2 receiver. Smith was the top receiver against North Carolina, catching five passes for 55 yards, and logged six receptions for 90 yards and a score against Alabama. He had the best game of his career at Tennessee, catching 11 passes (tying for the ninth-best single game total in school history) for 156 yards (the most by a Gamecock this season), including a career-long 75-yard TD reception. He is second on the team with 36 catches for 408 yards. * Sophomore Josh Vann (2 starts) and veteran Chavis Dawkins (5 starts) work as the third and fourth receivers. Vann has 18 catches for 154 yards. After not having a reception in the first three games, Dawkins has six catches for 65 yards over the last five contests. * Redshirt sophomore OrTre Smith did not dress for the opener, but has since returned to the field after missing most of last season following knee surgery and has contributed seven catches for 59 yards, including a touchdown against Florida. REVAMPED TIGHT ENDS: Bobby Bentley took over as the tight ends coach and came into a room that had just seven career Division I receptions entering the 2019 campaign. He lost K.C. Crosby and Jacob August to graduation, then lost Kiel Pollard to a career-ending medical situation during fall camp, while Evan Hinson elected to pursue a basketball career at Austin Peay. * Fifth-year junior Kyle Markway (6-4, 250) is having a career year. Markway is fourth on the team with 17 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns on the season after having just six catches coming into 2019. He had a career-high four receptions against CSU, then topped that with five catches for 46 yards against Alabama. * Junior Nick Muse (6-3, 232), a transfer from William & Mary, got a waiver for immediate eligibility a day prior to the CSU game. He made an immediate impact with two catches for 22 yards in that contest and had four catches for 21 yards against Alabama. He had a career-high 31 receiving yards at Georgia and matched his career high with four receptions at Tennessee. He has 16 receptions for 143 yards on the season. He hauled in 30 passes for 453 yards a season ago for the Tribe. * Junior Chandler Farrell (6-3, 295), a former walk-on center, moved to tight end during fall camp to add depth. He is now wearing No. 31, although he has been seen in a cameo role on the offensive line wearing number 60. Used primarily as a blocking tight end, Farrell is still looking for his first reception. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Senior tight end Kiel Pollard was forced to give up his playing career during fall camp. Pollard suffered a small fracture in his neck, which was to have sidelined him for 4-6 weeks. However, during an MRI, the doctors discovered a cyst on his spinal cord, which apparently has been there since he was a child. The severity of the situation and the possible long-term consequences from that medical condition forced him to retire as a player. Pollard, who will graduate in December, is helping as a student-assistant coach. He served as a team captain in the opener vs. UNC. THE O-LINE SETTLES IN: The Gamecocks have what offensive line coach Eric Wolford considers his most athletic unit since rejoining the Carolina staff. He has two veterans in left tackle Sadarius Hutcherson and center Donell Stanley, but the other three spots are manned by first-year starters. * Sixth-year senior Donell Stanley (6-3, 325) anchors the unit. Stanley worked at left guard in the season opener, but has since moved back to center. He worked primarily at center during the 2018 season and has made 21-consecutive starts. * Redshirt junior Sadarius Hutcherson (6-4, 320) protects the quarterback's blind side from the left tackle position. Hutcherson played guard in 2018, but is strong and athletic enough to handle the tackle position. He has made 22-consecutive starts and earned a spot on Bruce Feldman's "Freaks" list. * Sophomore Dylan Wonnum (6-5, 310) started each of the first four games at right tackle before suffering an ankle injury in the Missouri game, which has kept him out of the the last four contests. Wonnum was a Freshman All-American last season as a true freshman. * The Gamecocks started a new pair of guards against Charleston Southern, with redshirt sophomore Jordan Rhodes (6-4, 330) taking over at left guard and redshirt freshman Jovaughn Gwyn (6-2, 305) getting the nod at right guard. They both have now started seven-straight games. * True freshman Jaylen Nichols (6-5, 320) made his first career start against Kentucky at the right tackle position, replacing the injured Dylan Wonnum, and has now started four straight contests. A LITTLE MISLEADING: The Gamecocks have allowed an average of 27.2 points per game this season, but it's a little unfair to chalk that all up to the defense. The Gamecocks have surrendered four touchdowns, or 28 points, when the defense was not on the field. Taking those points away, the Carolina defense is allowing 23.7 points per game. THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE: This is easily the best defensive front in both depth and talent assembled at South Carolina since the days of Jadeveon Clowney and company raised havoc throughout the SEC. * Most of the accolades have gone to Javon Kinlaw (6-6, 310), who some NFL experts have labeled a first-round NFL draft pick. He has filled up the stat line with 23 tackles including 5.0 sacks, tied for third in the SEC, three quarterback hurries, a pair of fumble recoveries and a blocked kick. He was the SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week for his performance at Georgia, and was a midseason All-American by both the AP (first team) and The Athletic (second team). * D.J. Wonnum (6-5, 260) is back after missing eight games a year ago with an ankle injury. Wonnum was named a team captain in 2017 after logging 13.0 tackles for loss including 6.0 sacks. He is on the Mayo Clinic list for Comeback Player of the Year this season. He logged three tackles for loss in the season opener against North Carolina and registered 11 tackles overall, had his first career interception at Missouri and was the SEC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against Kentucky when he registered a career-high 3.0 sacks among his five tackles and forced a fumble. He has been recognized as an SEC weekly award winner four times in his career. He has 27 tackles on the season including a team-high 8.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks with three hurries. He has moved into 10th on the school's all-time list in tackles for loss with 28.5 and, with 14.0 career sacks, is one sack away from tying four others for ninth on the school's all-time list. * Kobe Smith (6-2, 300) is a "glue guy" in the middle of the line and has recorded 20 tackles. He gets extra mention in the notes after serving as a summer marketing intern for Gamecock Athletics. * The Gamecocks have been getting better play from junior defensive end Aaron Sterling (6-1, 250). For the season, Sterling has registered 30 tackles, is second on the team in tackles for loss (7.0) and is third in sacks (4.0). He also is tied for the team lead with three QB hurries, has forced a fumble and has recovered a fumble. GETTING IN THE SACK: Carolina has logged 17 sacks, with Javon Kinlaw leading the way with 5.0, while D.J. Wonnum (4.5) and Aaron Sterling (4.0) are right behind. The Gamecocks have three of the top 10 SEC sack leaders and are the only SEC school to have at least three players with 4.0 or more sacks this season. BACKING UP THE LINE: The Gamecocks have received improved play from the linebacker position this season. * T.J. Brunson (6-1, 230) is the veteran leader of the group. The first player that Coach Muschamp recruiting at Carolina, Brunson has logged 266 career tackles, including 106 last season alone. A 2018 team captain, he opened the 2019 season with nine stops against UNC, had a season-high 12 tackles at Missouri, had 10 stops at Georgia and at Tennessee, and is currently second on the team with 60 stops, tied for eighth in the SEC. * Sophomore Ernest Jones (6-2, 235) earned the starting spot at the MIKE position, allowing Brunson to move back to WILL. An excellent communicator, Jones starred in his first start against UNC, registering a team-high 12 tackles, along with a pair of pass breakups. He also logged a team-high 12 tackles at Georgia. He leads the team and is sixth in the SEC with 62 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss. He logged his first career interception against Kentucky. * Sherrod Greene (6-1, 230) started every game last season but began this season in a reserve role. He has been coming on of late, starting each of the last five games as Carolina has opened with a 4-3 look, and is playing his best football. EASON-RIDDLE AT YOUR SERVICE: Junior linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle is one of 22 student-athletes selected for the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team®. The 22 players stood out for their leadership in local communities and overall commitment to giving back. Eason-Riddle has been a regular at both the Dorn VA Medical Center and at the oncology center of the Prisma Health Children's Hospital. He founded and developed the "Sandstorm Buddies Program" which matches USC student-athletes with patients and their families, where they can serve in a mentor capacity with cancer patients. RECONFIGURED SECONDARY: Defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson has a talented, but young group in his meeting room. * J.T. Ibe (5-10, 195), a sixth-year graduate transfer, is the veteran in the secondary. Ibe missed the opener with a pec injury, something he dealt with at Rice as well, but has since returned to the starting lineup. He has 32 tackles, including a team-high eight stops against Florida. * Jaycee Horn (6-1, 200), who is considered the top cover corner, logged a sack and forced a pair of fumbles in the season opener, had two PBUs vs. Alabama and logged seven tackles at Georgia. He has 25 tackles on the season with a team-high seven PBUs and a team-high two forced fumbles. * Israel Mukuamu (6-4, 205), who ranks third on the team with 46 tackles while playing cornerback, logged seven tackles against UNC, a pick against CSU and registered eight tackles against Alabama before having a career game at Georgia with a career-high 11 tackles and three interceptions. He is one of only three players in the country with three picks in a game this season and leads the SEC and is tied for fifth in the country with four interceptions. * Sophomore R.J. Roderick has worked his way into the starting lineup, seeing action at both nickel and safety. He is fourth on the team with 39 tackles and logged his first career sack against Alabama. * True freshmen Jammie Robinson (5-11, 200) and John Dixon (6-0, 190) both started vs. UNC. They became the eighth and ninth true freshman to start a season opener for the Gamecocks since the 2009 season, joining Stephon Gilmore (2009), Marcus Lattimore (2010), Jadeveon Clowney (2011), Bryson Allen-Williams (2014), Al Harris Jr. (2014), Bryan Edwards (2016) and Jaycee Horn (2018). Dixon had a pick against CSU, while Robinson picked off his first pass against Florida and had nine tackles at Tennessee. SIMPLY THE BEST: Sophomore cornerback Israel Mukuamu had a memorable game in the win at Georgia. He logged a career-high 11 tackles and intercepted Jake Fromm three times, returning one 53 yards for a score. Fromm had entered the game without an INT this season. He became the first Gamecock to record three picks in a game since Patrick Hinton vs. NC State in 1988. Mukuamu was recognized as the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week, the Chuck Bednarik Award National Player of the Week, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy National Defensive Player of the Week, the CollegeSportsMadness.com SEC and National Defensive Player of the Week, and the SEC Defensive Player of the Week. PICK THIS: After logging just six interceptions in 2018, the Gamecocks already have nine picks this season, tied for 11th in the country, including three picks against Charleston Southern, the most in a game since the Vanderbilt win in 2015, and three more at Georgia (all by Israel Mukuamu). KICKING IT WITH PARKER: Redshirt junior Parker White is in his third season handling the extra point and field goal attempts. White is 11-for-15 in field goals this season (73.3 pct.) with three of his four misses coming from 50 yards and beyond. He hit a then career-long 48-yarder vs. Alabama and topped that with a 49-yarder at Georgia and had another 49-yarder vs. Florida. He is 38-of-56 (67.9 percent) in career field goal attempts, including 27-of-30 (90.0 percent) from inside 40 yards. He is 93-for-94 on extra point attempts, including 22-for-22 this season. WINNER, WINNER: Parker White owns five fourth-quarter or overtime game-winning field goals in his career. He provided the deciding points in wins over Louisiana Tech (2017), Tennessee (2017), Missouri (2018), Tennessee (2018) and Georgia (2019). I'M CHARLTON YOUR PUNTER: Senior Joseph Charlton handles the punting chores for the Gamecocks and is an All-American candidate. He ranks third in the country in punting average at 48.6 yards. He punted nine times for a 51.2-yard average against Kentucky with a 65-yarder, earning SEC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades. He boomed a season-best 66-yarder at Tennessee. For the season, 20 of his 45 punts have traveled at least 50 yards, while 21 have been marked inside the 20 with four touchbacks. He is a four-time "Ray's 8" weekly watch list member. AMONG THE NATION'S BEST: Here are the top five punters in the nation: NAME SCHOOL G NO YDS AVG 1. Braden Mann Texas A&M 8 32 1564 48.9 2. Max Duffy Kentucky 8 38 1853 48.83. Joseph Charlton S. Carolina 8 45 2189 48.6 3. Oscar Bradburn Virginia Tech 7 32 1544 48.3 5. Trenton Gill NC State 7 32 1509 47.2 CHARLTON THE G.O.A.T.: Joseph Charlton is currently the school record holder for career punting average at 45.5-yards per punt. CAREER PUNTING AVERAGE (Min. 75 Punts)1. Joseph Charlton (2015-19)..... 45.5 (148 for 6731) 2. Sean Kelly (2015-16)............... 43.3 (127 for 5496) 3. Spencer Lanning (2007-10)..... 42.6 (171 for 7292) 4. Ryan Succop (2005-08)........... 42.3 (85 for 3597) 5. Tom O'Connor (1984-85)...... 41.8 (118 for 4934) SNAPPING BACK: Graduate transfer Matt Oliveira handles the short and deep snapping duties. Oliveira has experience, having been the long snapper each of the last two seasons for Maryland. He was recently added to the Patrick Mannelly Award Watch List for the top long snapper in the country. OLD-TIMERS GAME: The Gamecocks have four players - Caleb Kinlaw, J.T. Ibe, Donell Stanley and Eldridge Thompson - who are in their sixth-year of eligibility. Their first collegiate season was in 2014. South Carolina and Akron are the only Division I schools with four sixth-year players on the roster. WORKING OVERTIME: The Gamecocks are 3-4 all-time in games decided in overtime, including a 2-0 mark when it goes to a second overtime.Date Opponent W/L Score No. of OT 09/27/03 at Tennessee L 20-23 1 10/27/07 at Tennessee L 24-27 1 10/26/13 at Missouri W 27-24 2 11/01/14 vs Tennessee L 42-45 1 11/15/14 at Florida W 23-20 1 12/29/16 USF (Birmingham) L 39-46 1 10/12/19 at Georgia W 20-17 2 YOUR MONEY'S NO GOOD HERE: Just prior to the start of the 2019 academic year, walk-on linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle was rewarded with a scholarship. FAMILY TIES: Sophomore defensive back Jaycee Horn is the son of former NFL wide receiver Joe Horn, junior linebacker Damani Staley is the son of former Gamecock and NFL running back Duce Staley, while 2019 signee Shilo Sanders is the son of former NFL and MLB standout Deion Sanders. TOTING THE SHEEPSKIN: Thirteen Gamecocks already have their undergraduate degree in hand including: Joseph Charlton, Mon Denson, Spencer Eason-Riddle, Chandler Farrell, Tavien Feaster, Daniel Fennell, Bailey Hart, J.T. Ibe, Caleb Kinlaw, Kyle Markway, Matt Oliveira, Donell Stanley and Eldridge Thompson. THE CAP AND GOWN AWAITS: Fourteen Gamecocks are on track to graduate in December. The list includes: Michael Almond, Jake Bentley, T.J. Brunson, Rico Dowdle, Bryan Edwards, Daniel Fennell (Master's), Sadarius Hutcherson, Javon Kinlaw, Kiel Pollard, Kobe Smith, Keir Thomas, Will Tommie, A.J. Turner, and Alexander Woznick. LOVE US FOR OUR MINDS: Gamecock football student-athletes posted a combined 3.026 GPA in the fall semester of 2018, the best in school history, then topped that with a 3.084 team GPA in the spring of 2019. In the recently released graduation success rate, South Carolina's Football GSR score (92) ranked second among SEC schools, tied for first among South Carolina schools (Wofford) and tied for sixth among all FBS schools. UP NEXT: The Gamecocks step outside the SEC when they host the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia on Saturday, Nov 9. Carolina owns an 8-1 record against App State, will all nine games played in Columbia between 1972 and 1988.
  7. Well it is almost here looking down the barrel at a 5-7 season. Can the Gamecocks ink out 6 wins? Vanderbilt should be one but you never know and App. St. not going to be a push over. Very talented team g=coming to Columbia in a few weeks, That leave Texas A&M and one of the nations best in Clemson. Will be a tall order to reach the magic number require to go bowling. But anyhow time to bring are addition to the game at hand Vanderbilt. What would you like to see out of the Gamecocks this weekend on defense, offense and coaching? Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Vanderbilt Commodores WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR South Carolina’s bowl hopes took a big hit with the Tennessee loss. Mapping out a road to six wins at the beginning of the season — and especially after the unexpected loss to North Carolina in the opener — usually included success in Knoxville. Instead, 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 are against ranked teams (No. 4 Clemson, No. 21 Appalachian State), one is on the road (Texas A&M) and then there’s Vandy. The Commodores are the weakest remaining foe, but they’re also coming off a bye and a win over then-ranked Missouri. Gamecocks offense has fizzled the last two weeks at the most inopportune times. A garbage time touchdown saved the Gamecocks from being shut out in the fourth quarter of the 38-27 loss to Florida on Oct. 19. Seven days later, Carolina went scoreless in the second half of a 20-point Tennessee loss. Some good news for Ryan Hilinski and company? Vanderbilt enters this game last in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing close to 34 points a game. Vanderbilt is statistically the least explosive offense in the SEC. The Commodores are averaging a league-worst 11 plays a game that go for at least 10 yards. But perhaps the Commodores are licking their chops after watching a previously vertically-challenged Tennessee team torch the South Carolina secondary for 351 passing yards. Can the Gamecock unit that harassed Georgia’s Jake Fromm just three weeks ago return against Vandy? VANDERBILT PLAYERS TO WATCH Vanderbilt has lacked offensive explosion all season, but the Commodores still pose a threat on the ground with Ke’Shawn Vaughn. The senior from Nashville entered last week second in the SEC with just over 100 rushing yards a game. An Illinois transfer, Vaughn scored one of Vandy’s two touchdowns against South Carolina last season. After seeing Kyle Shurmur each of the past three seasons, Vanderbilt is in a new era under center. Four different Commodores have thrown passes this year, but it was Mo Hasan who excelled with his last chance. The redshirt junior completed seven of 11 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown in the Missouri win, before leaving in the third quarter with a head injury. If healthy, Hasan will start against the Gamecocks. If not, expect Riley Neal. Perhaps the most notable performance in the Missouri win — Vandy’s first over a ranked opponent since 2016 — went to Harrison Smith. The punter was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week having three of his six attempts downed inside the Mizzou 20-yard line. He’s averging over 44 yards a punt this season.
  8. POLL OF THE WEEK: Vanderbilt up next to face the Gamecocks at WB Gamecocks now 3-5 with there backs to the walls most likely at best 5-7 record. Vanderbilt is coming to town and the Gamecocks are in much need of a win just to make it to 4-5. Can the Gamecocks beat Vanderbilt?
  9. Gamecocks opens as more than two-touchdown favorite against Vanderbilt Gamecocks coming off a dishearting upset loss against Tennessee on the road. Now the Gamecocks come home as a heavy favorite against the Vanderbilt Commodores. Will Muschamp’s squad opened as a 16-point favorite against a Derek Mason-led team that has struggled through much of this season. The over-under is 52. Gamecocks stand at 3-5 and fall to 2-4 in the SEC, while the Commodores are 2-5 and 1-3, off a bye following an upset of Missouri. The Gamecocks are 4-4 against the spread, while the Vandy is 1-6. The Gamecocks have won 10 in a row in the series dating back to 2008, when the Gamecocks had 100 more yards but turned it over three times. Last year’s matchup was one of Gamecocks best games of the season, as the Gamecocks held down an efficient Commodores attack in a comfortable win.
  10. Carolina - Vanderbilt Game Time Set 10/21/2019 | Football It will be Homecoming Weekend in Columbia when the South Carolina Gamecocks host the Vanderbilt Commodores in an SEC Eastern Division matchup on Saturday, Nov. 2. Game time has been set for 7:30 pm ET from Williams-Brice Stadium and the game will be televised on SEC Network. (VIEW ARTICLE)
  11. WATCH: Highlight Videos vs Vanderbilt Sept. 23, 2018 SFCocking 2018 USC vs Vanderbilt - Bryan Edwards 22 Yd Reception 2018 USC vs Vanderbilt - Rico Dowdle 20 Yd Run 2018 USC vs Vanderbilt - Javon Kinlaw Sack/Fumble, Aaron Sterling Fumble Recovery 2018 USC vs Vanderbilt - Jake Bentley 19 Yd Run 2018 USC vs Vanderbilt - Ty'Son Williams 22 Yd Run
  12. South Carolina Notches 37-14 Win Over Vandy With Videos Game Recap: Football | 9/22/2018 | Associated Press POSTGAME: Will Muschamp on Vanderbilt — 9/22/18 POSTGAME: Parker White, Jake Bentley on Vanderbilt — 9/22/18 POSTGAME: Shi Smith, Rico Dowdle on Vanderbilt — 9/22/18 POSTGAME: Bryson Allen-Williams, Zack Bailey on Vanderbilt — 9/22/18 POSTGAME: Javon Kinlaw on Vanderbilt — 9/22/18 NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jake Bentley threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and the South Carolina Gamecocks bounced back from their hurricane-forced break, routing Vanderbilt 37-14 Saturday. South Carolina (2-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference) had its game against Marshall canceled by Hurricane Florence , leaving the Gamecocks looking for a 12th game this season. The Gamecocks hadn't played since being routed 41-17 by now-No. 2 Georgia on Sept. 8 . They showed no rust as South Carolina won its 10th straight and 17th in the last 19 years against Vanderbilt. The Gamecocks scored the game's first 10 points and then reeled off 20 straight after Vanderbilt got within 17-14 late in the first half. South Carolina could have had a bigger margin of victory but lost two fumbles inside the Vandy 30 in the fourth quarter after a 39-minute lightning and rain delay. Rico Dowdle ran for a TD and 112 yards, and Mon Denson and Ty'Son Williams each ran for touchdowns. Parker White kicked three field goals for South Carolina. Vanderbilt (2-2, 0-1) felt pretty confident coming into its SEC opener after coming up just short in a 22-17 loss at No. 8 Notre Dame last week . The Commodores couldn't match Bentley and the Gamecocks who outgained them 149-32 in the first quarter and finished 534-284 in total offense. Ke'Shawn Vaughn scored on a 2-yard TD run after an interception. Kyle Shurmur added a 2-yard TD pass for Vanderbilt. The Commodores struggled with snapping the ball and even switched right guard Bruno Reagan over to center late. It didn't help with a bad snap on third down and Vanderbilt trying to chip away at the Gamecocks' lead late. GAME CHANGER South Carolina led Vanderbilt, 20-14, going into halftime. The Gamecock defense forced Vanderbilt into a punt on the Commodores first possession of the second half, then used a 10-play, 61-yard drive to take a nine-point lead after a 36-yard field goal by Parker White. Carolina added a third-quarter touchdown from Mon Denson and a late touchdown by Ty'Son Williams for the final scores of the contest. KEY STAT 534 to 284 — The Gamecock offense put up 534 yards of offense, 261 of those in the air from Jake Bentley, and had a 100-yard rusher (Rico Dowdle) and a 100-yard receiver (Shi Smith). Meanwhile, the Gamecock defense held Vandy to 284 yards and a pair of turnovers. UP NEXT South Carolina heads to Lexington, Ky., for a conference matchup with Kentucky on Saturday, Sept. 29. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. EDT and will be televised on SEC Network. Knockout blow: How Commodores’ coach pushed Gamecocks’ buttons NASHVILLE, TENN. Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason promised South Carolina a street fight here Saturday. Eventually, the Gamecocks won by technical knockout. South Carolina (2-1 overall, 1-1 SEC) dominated the Commodores (2-2, 0-1 SEC) throughout the game but couldn’t land a knockout punch until late in the fourth quarter of a 37-14 victory. “We heard about it, and yeah we took it personally,” South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley said of Mason’s comments. “He called us out to come fight, and that’s what we did. We can play in a stadium, in a backyard, in the street. We ran for 270 yards so I think the o-linemen took it more personally than anybody else.” The Gamecocks ran for 273 yards specifically, more than they have against an SEC opponent since Oct. 4, 2014 against Kentucky. In total, South Carolina out-gained the Commodores 534-284 on the way to their 10th straight win this series. “We took it very personally,” offensive lineman Zack Bailey said. “You want to try and call somebody out, you better know who you’re calling out before you call them out. That’s the bottom line. We took it to them.” Mason wore a work shirt and name tag to his regular Tuesday press conference to illustrate the type of game he expected. “Some of you guys don’t know who (former MAA fighter) Kimbo Slice is. Hopefully, you do,” Mason said Tuesday. “This isn’t a sanctioned fight. This a street fight. This is the SEC. It’s time to put on the hard hat, (grab) the lunch pail and get to work.” Those comments were played over and over for the Gamecocks this week, including Saturday before they took the field. “Every day since he said it, we heard it,” said Rico Dowdle, who pantomimed a boxing combination after scoring on a 2-yard run in the second quarter. South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp “said he called us out. Once he said it, we came out with a street fight mentality. My score I did the thing. The guy wants to say something like that, just go attack them.” It was the first time South Carolina has surpassed 500 yards in an SEC game since Nov. 1, 2014, against Tennessee. “I feel sorry for (Mason) now,” Bailey said. “He probably wishes he could take that back. It was personal for us.” Muschamp would not acknowledge using Mason’s comments as a motivational tool. When asked after the game about them, he said only, “We rushed for 273 yards.” However, his true feelings were clear the moment South Carolina pulled up to Vanderbilt Stadium with buses identified by signs in the front window that read “Street Fight.” The Gamecocks averaged 7 yards per play and only three turnovers, eight penalties and a five-of-12 ratio on third down conversions kept the game from being a bigger blowout. Vanderbilt pulled within three at 17-14 on a 2-yard scoring reception by Kalija Lipscomb, but South Carolina closed the game on a 20-0 run from there. “You could tell what type of day it was going to be before the game,” said defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw, who had two sacks, two forced fumbles, two quarterback hurries and a pass breakup. “You could tell just going around looking at guys in the hotel. I could tell it was going to be a good day. (Mason) tried to show he was fired up about the game or whatever but the end result is the end result.” South Carolina was playing for the first time since losing 41-17 to Georgia on Sept. 8. The Sept. 15 game against Marshall was canceled due to Hurricane Florence. In the two weeks between games, public opinion began to turn against the Gamecocks. South Carolina was favored to win at kickoff but the line fell throughout the week, and all four pickers on ESPN’s popular “College Gameday” crew predicted Saturday morning the Commodores would win. A new star in the receiver spotlight? Shi Smith has career day in win over Vandy NASHVILLE, TENN. Before the regulars made their mark, Shi Smith was the first South Carolina receiver to come alive Saturday in USC’s 37-14 win over Vanderbilt. Deebo Samuel, as he usually does, did a little bit of everything with his 95 yards on nine touches. And Bryan Edwards, Samuel’s top sidekick, was again solid with three grabs for 47 yards. But Smith, the sophomore who can occasionally feel forgotten, was truly the Gamecocks’ spark at Vanderbilt Stadium. Five minutes hadn’t passed in the second quarter and Smith already had a career-high for receiving yards. He finished with 119 and a touchdown on five catches. Move over Samuel and Edwards, make room for Smith? “I’m prepared,” Smith said when asked if he wants to share a spotlight with his more-known position mates. “I mean, I’ll do everything I need to do to be prepared for it. But I’m just going to stay humble and do what I need to do to do my job.” Momentum for Saturday’s performance had been building since August. In preseason camp, USC quarterback Jake Bentley told reporters he sensed an definite advancement in Smith’s game. “He’s made some plays where you just go ‘Wow, that’s a big-time play,’ ” Bentley said then of the former three-star recruit from Union, S.C. Naturally, Bentley was hardly surprised by Saturday’s show. The two connected on the game’s third play from scrimmage — an easy 38-yard scoring strike to the right pylon. “Day in and day out in practice, he brings the right mentality,” Bentley said of Smith. “He works hard every day. Watching the Georgia game, he got open a lot, so we knew he had the ability to get open a lot this game. “It was a point of emphasis all week to get him the ball. We knew he had a chance to make explosive plays and that’s what he did.” The Bentley-Smith duo nearly combined for another TD in the second quarter, but settled for a 52-yard gain after Smith was stopped at the Vandy 2-yard line. Of Bentley’s first six completions, four of them went to Smith. Credit a chunk of that to favorable matchups, said Carolina coach Will Muschamp. Smith often found himself in single coverage against a Vandy slot cornerback. “(Smith’s) a really good player,” Muschamp said. “We felt really good about the matchup in the slot. We’ll feel good about that matchup a lot of weeks. He’s a good football player. We’ve got some weapons on offense, (but) we’ve got to continue to get him the ball.” In two career games against Vandy, Smith has 10 receptions for 195 yards and two scores. “I feel very confident,” Smith said. “We’ve been working every day in practice. (Bentley) told me it was going to happen, and we went out there and made the plays. Thumbs up, thumbs down: South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt Thumbs Up Jake Bentley to Shi Smith By halftime, South Carolina’s quarterback (Bentley) had found the young receiver for a pair of massive gains. They tormented Vanderbilt slot corners to the tune of 119 yards on five catches. Rico Dowdle did the most damage with 112 yards on 20 carries, but the game was a nice return for A.J. Turner. He was a top runner the past two seasons but had a quiet start this year. He finished with 64 yards on nine carries that included sprints of 19 and 15 yards. Javon Kinlaw, the terror South Carolina’s top defensive tackle didn’t finish the game after a toe injury put a scare in him. Even in an abbreviated game, he had two strip-sacks, another tackle for loss, a pass breakup and five total tackles. The up-tempo attack USC’s high-paced attack seemed to be working on all cylinders. The Gamecocks ran nearly 80 plays. They broke out 534 yards. They went quick on the opening drives of both halves and did their damage. Thumbs Down That tackling South Carolina gave up five runs of 10 yards or longer, and four passes of at least 15 yards. A lot of that came from issues with tackling, something USC still needs to clean up. Closing the deal The Gamecocks built an early lead and let the Commodores keep it close for a while. There were a few chances squandered before finally closing the door. Fumbles USC looked to be in position to close things down in a big way. Then Dowdle fumbled in the red zone, and Turner lost it late in a big run. The rain factored in. Just staying healthy For stretches, South Carolina lost Kinlaw, Dowdle, Bryan Edwards and didn’t have Rashad Fenton for most of the game. USC has some pieces, but it’s not in position to take a ton of attrition.
  13. USC-Vanderbilt report card: Bounce-back effort makes the grade Sept. 23, 2018 With South Carolina football’s 37-14 win against the Vanderbilt Commodores in the books, it’s time to grade the Gamecocks. Quarterbacks Was there a play where Jake Bentley underestimated a linebacker in zone’s leaping ability? Yes. But he hit 19 of 28 passes. He had 261 yards, including a set of deep strikes to Shi Smith and a dart to Bryan Edwards. Then throw in leading the offense to a banner day and running for 45 yards, you’ll take it. Grade: A- Running backs As the weeks went on, Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp went from blaming his line for a sub-par running day against Georgia to challenging his backs. They stepped up, with the trio of Rico Dowdle, Ty’Son Williams and A.J. Turner combining for 224 yards at 6.2 per pop. The two fumbles in the rain were concerning. Grade: A- Wide receivers Shi Smith posted easily his best career day, and to the naked eye it looked as if his two biggest plays were him just throwing good moves in one-on-one coverage. Deebo Samuel got a lot of work, while Edwards had a solid game. A few backups got targets. Grade: B+ Tight ends The run blocking overall seemed good, but the pass game didn’t focus on them too much. K.C. Crosby, who left the game with an injury, and Kiel Pollard each caught first-down passes, and the ground game certainly looked well-blocked. Grade: B Offensive line The group felt challenged after Georgia. They laid waste to a Vanderbilt, plowing the way for 273 rushing yards at 5.7 per carry. Jake Bentley was hardly pressured and only sacked once. Overall a good day. Grade: A Defensive line This group caused some havoc. Javon Kinlaw had two sacks. Bryson Allen-Williams added a hurry. There were some issues against the run early, as Jamauri Wakefield got 5.1 yards per carry, but in the end the Gamecocks shut that down too. Grade: A- Linebackers There was a spate of tackling issues that led to five 10-yard runs and let Vanderbilt move the ball for stretches. There was also bad blown coverage from what looked like Sherrod Greene that set up one of the Commodore touchdowns. Grade: C- Defensive backs Facing a potential NFL quarterback, the Gamecocks forced Kyle Shurmur into a 18 for 38 day, which included a pick and 4.7 yards per attempt. There might have been a few rocky moments, but considering top cornerback Rashad Fenton missed much of the game, it was a pretty good game. Grade: A- Special teams Parker White went 3 of 3 on field goals, all inside 37 yards. He didn’t get many touchbacks, but only one Vandy drive that started with a kickoff began past the 25. Punter Joseph Charlton put two of three punts inside the 20. The return game didn’t yield much, but neither did Vandy’s. Grade: B+ Overall There were probably enough miscues and points left on the field to earn a B+ (USC could’ve probably scored 50 if it was more on point). But one also has to factor in the moment. Gamecocks fans and players had to stew on the Georgia loss for an extra week. Coming out with a big offensive day and comfortable win carried weight beyond just the result on the field. Grade: A-
  14. South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt SEC Network to Televise September 22 Contest from Nashville at 4:00 pm ET Sept. 22, 2018 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Vanderbilt Commodores Game info Who: South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-1, 0-0) When: 4 p.m. Saturday Where: Vanderbilt Stadium (39,790) TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Kris Budden, sideline) Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline) ... See all the radio affiliates around the state here. Satellite radio: Sirius 106/XM 384 YOU ARE LOOKING LIVE: The South Carolina Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) go on the road for the first time this season when they travel to Nashville, Tenn. to face the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-1, 0-0 SEC) in an SEC Eastern Division matchup. Game time is set for 4 pm ET from Vanderbilt Stadium (39,790). TV COVERAGE: SEC Network has the telecast for this week's contest. Taylor Zarzour will handle the play-by-play with Matt Stinchcomb serving as the analyst. Kris Budden will work the sidelines. A HISTORY LESSON: 2018 marks the 125th season of intercollegiate football at South Carolina. It is the 112th-consecutive year in which South Carolina has competed on the gridiron. The University did not field a team in either 1893 or 1906. Carolina owns an all-time record of 602-574-44. SEC HISTORY: The South Carolina Gamecocks are in their 27th year in the Southeastern Conference. Carolina and Arkansas joined the league prior to the 1992 campaign. The Gamecocks earned their lone SEC Eastern Division title in 2010. The Gamecocks are 90-118-1 (.433) all-time in SEC regular-season play, but are 35-30 (.538) in conference action since the start of the 2010 season. With a 5-3 mark and sole possession of second place in the SEC East in 2017, the Gamecocks won five or more conference games for just the eighth time in 26 years since joining the SEC. CAROLINA VS. VANDY: This is the 28th all-time meeting between South Carolina and Vanderbilt, with the Gamecocks holding a commanding 23-4 advantage, including a 12-2 record when the games have been played in Nashville and an 11-2 mark when the teams have met in Columbia. The teams met just once (1961) before they became SEC Eastern Division rivals beginning in 1992, and have met every year since. Q&A on Vanderbilt: Five things to know about South Carolina’s opponent Adam Sparks, the Vanderbilt beat writer for The Tennessean, took time this week to answer a few of our questions about the Commodores as they prepare for Saturday’s game with South Carolina. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. at Vanderbilt Stadium. 1. Vanderbilt’s undefeated start to the season ended last week with a narrow defeat at eighth-ranked Notre Dame. What do you learn about the Commodores in South Bend that perhaps you didn’t know about them prior to that trip? Not a lot in terms of schematics or personnel. QB Kyle Shurmur, WR Kalija Lipscomb and TE Jared Pinkney are weapons. The defense has some depth and athleticism. I knew those things before that game, but I learned it that they could perform at a higher level than I previously knew. Vandy started badly, tackled poorly early on and squandered two TDs with miscues at the goal line. But it still went toe-to-toe with the Fighting Irish on the road. It showed that Vanderbilt’s ceiling perhaps is higher than once thought, but only time will tell if that’s the case. 2. Vandy’s been to one bowl game in four-plus seasons under Coach Derek Mason. How would you assess the Commodores’ performance under Mason? Is this his best team yet? Mason’s record (20-32) is not very good, but Vanderbilt coaches are judged differently than at other SEC schools. Historically, almost every coach over the past century, aside from James Franklin, has faced tough odds at Vandy. There are just a lot of challenges to winning that would take a few days to go through. That being said, Mason has had his ups and downs. He upset Georgia and beat No. 24 Tennessee in 2016 en route to a bowl, beat No. 18 Kansas State last season and owns a 2-2 record versus the rival Vols. But this is a year when the Commodores need to show progress. So far, so good. This may be Mason’s most complete team, but that could look different after a few SEC games to better judge it. Two big differences from past seasons is that Vandy has more depth on defense and, most importantly, a very good, NFL-caliber, four-year starting quarterback in Kyle Shurmur. Those don’t grow on trees around Vanderbilt. 3. A four-year starter, Vandy quarterback Kyle Shurmur is as experienced as any at his position in the SEC. Where have you seen that experience pay off the most this season? The obvious pluses on Shurmur are arm strength, competitive fire and experience. He’s got a good football pedigree (son of New York Giants coach Pat Shurmur and great-nephew of longtime NFL defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur; also, Kyle’s mom was a Big Ten champion swimmer at Michigan State). But in terms of other intangibles, Shurmur has a great grasp of the offense. I think if offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig got stuck in traffic, he would feel comfortable letting Shurmur call all the plays for a game. Ludwig has often said that many of Vandy’s best running plays were those that Shurmur checked into at the line of scrimmage. 4. Shumur’s favorite target this season has been Kalija Lipscomb. The SEC’s leader in receptions was targeted 18 times in the Notre Dame game. Anyone else stick out among the Vandy receiving corps? If you count tight ends, then Jared Pinkney is very notable. He leads all FBS tight ends in receiving yards (241 in 3 games). Pinkney will split out when Vandy is in a four-wide set, or he’ll run a route off the line. If South Carolina allows Pinkney to get a free release off the line, Shurmur will look for him on routes of 20 yards or more down the field. In terms of wide receivers, there are a lot of contenders for the No. 2 spot. Donaven Tennyson is a deep threat, but he had a costly dropped pass on a short route last week. Sophomore Chris Pierce has some potential. True freshman Cam Johnson and C.J. Bolar have a lot of good football ahead of them, but can they do it against SEC competition this week? Not sure. We’ll see.
  15. Gamecocks shift away from Script Carolina helmet as they reveal uniform for Vanderbilt Sept. 21, 2018 South Carolina is going a little icy, shifting away from the Script Carolina helmet for the first time this season. They’ll instead be in all whites as they take on the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville on Saturday, the team revealed Thursday. That’s white jersey, white pants, white shoes.
  16. Vanderbilt quarterback Shurmur’s smarts worry Gamecocks Sept. 20, 2018 South Carolina will face Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur for the last time Saturday, and the Gamecocks won’t be sad to see him go. Shurmur, a three-year starter for the Commodores, is not the flashiest quarterback in the conference but draws consistent praise from opponents. “He just knows where to take the ball,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “If it’s middle field split safety, he knows when the ball’s snapped.” Shurmur, who is the son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, is Vanderbilt’s third all-time leading passer behind Jay Cutler and Greg Zolman. This year, he’s fifth in the league in passing with 251.3 yards per game, five touchdowns and one interception. “We’re not going to show him anything he hasn’t seen,” Muschamp said. “Kyle’s an experienced player, and he understands the game. He takes the ball to the right spots. He’s going to complete some passes, we just can’t let him have explosive plays.” Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley has worked with Shurmur the last two summers at the Manning Passing Academy. “When you talk to him about football it jumps out -- he’s super intelligent, coach’s kid, just really smart, knows everything about football,” Bentley said. “He goes to Vandy, must be pretty smart. He’s a great dude, too. Real down to earth guy who just likes to play football.” Shurmur’s intelligence comes through on game film, Gamecocks defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw said. “He makes a lot of checks and things like that,” Kinlaw said. “He will change a lot of things. He’s looking around, making calls, pointing. You can tell he’s a very intelligent guy. He knows his game.” South Carolina will try to disguise before the snap more and hold that disguise longer than normal against Shurmur to avoid being burned by his changes, Muschamp said. “You have to have really good eye control discipline,” Muschamp said.
  17. How USC’s last trip to Vanderbilt ‘jump started’ Muschamp’s tenure with Gamecocks Sept. 20, 2018 THE STATE Southeastern Conference schools never want their football teams in the position of being judged based on what happens against Vanderbilt, but that’s where South Carolina found itself on Sept. 1, 2016. The Gamecocks were coming off a 3-9 season and had just hired Will Muschamp as their head coach, a decision that was widely questioned not just from the outside but from within the program’s fan base as well. “You were hearing a lot from Gamecock fans that people were nervous, didn’t know if he was the right fit,” said Elliott Fry, the former South Carolina kicker who would prove so important on that September night. Muschamp had been fired two years prior after four years at Florida and he would start his Gamecocks career on the road against an SEC opponent with a team that had ended the previous season with five straight losses, including one to The Citadel. The 3-9 season had followed a 7-6 season that had followed an 11-2 season. South Carolina players, frankly, were wondering the same thing South Carolina fans were wondering. “It just progressively got worse,” Fry said. “I remember thinking every year, ‘It can’t get any worse,’ and it just kept gradually getting worse.” The Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) head back to Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday for the first time since that 2016 game. On their last trip, Vanderbilt was heading into head coach Derek Mason’s third year and would go on to beat Georgia and Tennessee that season. The game started exactly the way Gamecocks fans had feared. South Carolina trailed 10-0 at halftime. It had 63 yards at the time. Its first eight offensive possessions ended with a punt or a fumble. True freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain played. Sophomore wide receiver Deebo Samuel fumbled away the Commodores’ first punt of the game. “We didn’t start out really good,” Muschamp remembered this week. Things began to turn around in the second half, though. Fry hit a 48-yard field goal in third quarter and Samuel redeemed himself with an 8-yard touchdown run with 7:30 left in the game to tie the score at 10-10. After Samuel’s touchdown, Vanderbilt drove 49 yards in seven plays, but place-kicker Tommy Openshaw missed a 45-yard attempt that would have given the Commodores the lead.
  18. Gamecocks favored over Vanderbilt but by historically low number Sept. 20, 2018 South Carolina is a 2.5-point favorite over Vanderbilt for Saturday’s game in Nashville, Tenn. The Gamecocks have won nine in a row over the Commodores and have been favored in every game during that streak. They are just 4-4-1 against the spread during the streak, and this year’s line is the second-smallest in this series since at least 1998 (the last year for which reliable and complete data is available). We talked to ESPN.com gambling writer David Purdum about what all this means. What kind of movement have you seen on this line? It opened as high as three but started ticking back down almost everywhere. It got down to as low as 1.5 and ticked back up to where it’s sitting now. The standard home field advantage (being three points) is kind of a myth. I guess it would be lazy odds making. The guys that really take is seriously and really break it down, they will tell you that the only true home field advantage is places like Wyoming where there’s altitude. If you go into Death Valley on Saturday night, that would be some, too, obviously. They just don’t put much stock in that. I would not think that there’s much home field advantage at Vanderbilt. So this line means that the Gamecocks are still ahead of Vanderbilt in the odds makers’ power rankings, right? They are favored on the road, which definitely indicates that the powers rankings in Las Vegas have South Carolina higher than Vanderbilt. I bet the gap has narrowed now, but I would I think South Carolina still is a tier or two above. When South Carolina got blown out, it kind of deflated some of the expectations for them, and I think also Vanderbilt was impressive in the second half against Notre Dame. I definitely think there is some respect for Vanderbilt there. South Carolina is a 1,000-to-1 to win the national title. Could a Gamecocks fan go to Las Vegas and bet $1 on that just for fun? Five dollars typically is your minimum wager over the counter at Las Vegas. Some of the new sports books that you see popping up are taking very small dollar bets. That’s going to be one of the interesting trends as we get these new operators. But the futures bets are not good odds for the bettors, are they? The house edge is pretty significant. The house edge that is built into the futures market is 20 to 30 percent, whereas your house edge in straight, single-game wagers is 10 percent. Futures bets are very lucrative for the sports book. They almost always put themselves in position by managing it where they almost win on every team.
  19. Vanderbilt might have pushed Notre Dame, but Gamecocks still favored on the road Sept. 17, 2018 Recent impressions don’t mean much when it comes to Las Vegas’ lines and South Carolina football this week. The Gamecocks are coming off a surprise bye week because of Hurricane Florence and a blowout home loss to Georgia. The Vanderbilt team they’ll visit Saturday is 2-1 and gave Notre Dame a tough game in South Bend, Indiana. South Carolina is still a road favorite. The Gamecocks opened as a 2 1/2 -point favorite against the Commodores in Nashville. USC covered a 31-point line in its season opener against Coastal but didn’t as an underdog to Georgia. By the usual logic of lines and home-field advantage, that means USC would be a 5 1/2-point favorite on a neutral field and an 8 1/2-point favorite at home. USC has won nine in a row against Vandy, the past three by less than 10 points. The Gamecocks are 5-0 against the spread in their last five road games.
  20. Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Vanderbilt Sept. 16, 2018 South Carolina (1-1, 0-1 SEC) at Vanderbilt (2-1, 0-0) When: 4 p.m. Where: Vanderbilt Stadium, Nashville TV: SEC Network Three storylines 1. Under Coach Will Muschamp, South Carolina is 2-0 following a bye week, including a win over Vanderbilt last season. Of course, this latest open date wasn’t part of the plan, but Hurricane Florence washed out the Gamecocks’ Sept. 15 game with Marshall. Can the Gamecocks remain sharp in a crucial SEC East matchup? 2. Week 1 was a win over a team pegged to finish in the Sun Belt cellar. Week 2 was a lossto a team with eyes toward a return trip to the College Football Playoff. Games three and four of USC’s football season might give us a better feel for where these Gamecocks stand. After Vandy, Carolina heads to Kentucky. USC has yet to win consecutive road games in the Muschamp era. 3. After a 3-0 start last season, Vandy lost by 59 points to Alabama in Week 4, bringing the Commodores back down to Earth and foreshadowing their 1-7 SEC record. Vandy started this year 2-0 before playing a competitive four quarters in a narrow loss at No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday. Is this Coach Derek Mason’s best team in his five years in Nashville? Or can USC bring the ‘Dores back down to Earth again? Three Vanderbilt players to watch 1. Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur produced modest numbers (428 yards, four touchdowns) during Vandy’s 2-0 start, but it all came without a turnover. Faced with his biggest challenge of the season, Shurmur’s steady play continued against Notre Dame (26 of 43, 326 yards, TD, INT). The four-year starter is as experienced as any QB in the SEC. 2. Shurmur’s favorite target is Kalija Lipscomb. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior leads the SEC with 25 recepetions, including an 11-grab, 89-yard performance against the Fighting Irish. Carolina fans might recall Lipscomb going for seven catches, 128 yards and a score against the Gamecocks last season. 3. Vandy linebacker Charles Wright was ejected for targeting Jake Bentley in last season’s game. The SEC’s co-leader in sacks through the 2017 regular season is still looking for his first sack in ‘18. The Commodore defense is allowing just 12.7 points per game.
  21. At Vanderbilt, Sept. 22 Breaking news: Ralph Webb is not a Commodore anymore. It seems like Webb has been running the ball for Vanderbilt forever, and SEC defensive coordinators will be glad to see him gone. Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur, who had 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last year, is back, but Vanderbilt still is Vanderbilt. Vand has done a lot of rebuilding, I think this will be a close game. A Lot closer than the Matchup Predictor. SC is infamous for beating Vandy in Vandy and has done so more times than losing. My Pick: South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 17 Three storylines 1. Under Coach Will Muschamp, South Carolina is 2-0 following a bye week, including a win over Vanderbilt last season. Of course, this latest open date wasn’t part of the plan, but Hurricane Florence washed out the Gamecocks’ Sept. 15 game with Marshall. Can the Gamecocks remain sharp in a crucial SEC East matchup? 2. Week 1 was a win over a team pegged to finish in the Sun Belt cellar. Week 2 was a loss to a team with eyes toward a return trip to the College Football Playoff. Games three and four of USC’s football season might give us a better feel for where these Gamecocks stand. After Vandy, Carolina heads to Kentucky. USC has yet to win consecutive road games in the Muschamp era. 3. After a 3-0 start last season, Vandy lost by 59 points to Alabama in Week 4, bringing the Commodores back down to Earth and foreshadowing their 1-7 SEC record. Vandy started this year 2-0 before playing a competitive four quarters in a narrow loss at No. 8 Notre Dame on Saturday. Is this Coach Derek Mason’s best team in his five years in Nashville? Or can USC bring the ‘Dores back down to Earth again? Three Vanderbilt players to watch 1. Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur produced modest numbers (428 yards, four touchdowns) during Vandy’s 2-0 start, but it all came without a turnover. Faced with his biggest challenge of the season, Shurmur’s steady play continued against Notre Dame (26 of 43, 326 yards, TD, INT). The four-year starter is as experienced as any QB in the SEC. 2. Shurmur’s favorite target is Kalija Lipscomb. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior leads the SEC with 25 recepetions, including an 11-grab, 89-yard performance against the Fighting Irish. Carolina fans might recall Lipscomb going for seven catches, 128 yards and a score against the Gamecocks last season. 3. Vandy linebacker Charles Wright was ejected for targeting Jake Bentley in last season’s game. The SEC’s co-leader in sacks through the 2017 regular season is still looking for his first sack in ‘18. The Commodore defense is allowing just 12.7 points per game. One Reason Why South Carolina Will Win The Commodores have a few turnover problems lately. They were able to avoid any mistakes in the opener against Middle Tennessee, but the offense gave away two in the win over Nevada, and they were a -3 in in the loss to Notre Dame. There hasn’t been much of a pass rush over the first two games, and there have only been two takeaways, but for good and for real-world bad, this is a rested team that’s had a break after the Georgia loss. The offensive line had a decent first two games, there haven’t been a whole slew of big mistakes – other than the really giant one early on against the Bulldogs – and the passing game is good enough to keep up the pace. As long as Georgia wins the turnover battle, all will be fine. One Reason Why Vanderbilt Will Win The South Carolina secondary might still be a work in progress. It hasn’t allowed a whole slew of yards over the first two games – just 314 – but Coastal Carolina and Georgia combined to complete 78% of their passes. The Bulldog quarterbacks took target practice in the 41-17 win in Columbia, and now it’s up to Kyle Shurmur to bomb away and keep the Commodore passing attack going. Yeah, the ground game has been fine, but Shurmur has been the main man, hitting 64% of his passes highlighted by a 326-yard day last week in the loss to Notre Dame. Granted, Vandy missed on its late chances to pull off the win, but it’s good enough to get the air show moving against the Gamecocks. What’s Going To Happen Vanderbilt will be tough enough and good enough to screw up a Gamecock team with high hopes coming into the season. But don’t go by what happened against Georgia. That’s a special Bulldog team with national championship upside, and South Carolina is better than it looked in that tough, blowout home loss. The time off will help. The defense will be solid against the Commodore offense, and Jake Bentley and the Gamecock attack will be strong enough to keep the chains moving, keep Shurmur off the field, and come up with a good win. South Carolina have won nine straight in the series – the last loss a 24-17 stunner early in 2008 – and it’ll make it ten. But it’s not going to be easy.
  22. Game Time Set for South Carolina vs Vanderbilt SEC Network to Televise September 22 Contest from Nashville GCF Staff Report September 10, 2018 COLUMBIA, S.C. (September 10, 2018) – The South Carolina Gamecocks and Vanderbilt Commodores will kick at 4 pm ET on Saturday, September 22, the Southeastern Conference office announced today. The matchup between the two SEC Eastern Division rivals will be televised on SEC Network. The September 22 contest from Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville will be the first road contest of the season for South Carolina. The Gamecocks lead the all-time series by a 23-4 count, including a 12-2 mark when playing in Nashville. Carolina has won a school-record nine-straight games in the series, with the Commodores last victory coming in 2008. The Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1 SEC) host Marshall this weekend, while Vanderbilt (2-0, 0-0 SEC) travels to Notre Dame. Here is the full SEC slate of games for Saturday, September 22: Georgia at Missouri 12:00 ET / ESPN Kent State at Ole Miss 12:00 ET / SEC Network Texas A&M at Alabama 3:30 ET / CBS South Carolina at Vanderbilt 4:00 ET / SEC Network *Miss. State at Kentucky 7:00 ET / ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU *Louisiana Tech at LSU 7:00 ET / ESPN2 or ESPNU #Arkansas at Auburn 7:00 ET or 7:30 ET / ESPN, ESPN2 or SEC Network #Florida at Tennessee 7:00 ET or 7:30 ET / ESPN, ESPN2 or SEC Network * Network Designation to be determined after games of Sept. 15 # Time and Network Designation to be determined after games of Sept. 15
  23. Report Card: South Carolina survives Vanderbilt at Williams-Brice Stadium October 29, 2017 South Carolina improved to 6-2 (4-2 SEC) after its 34-27 win over Vanderbilt at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday. How did the Gamecocks grade out in the win? SEC Country passes out this week’s grades below. Offense: A-minus South Carolina’s 24 points in the first half were the most this season. The Gamecocks’ previous high was 21 points against NC State. It was also the third-most in the Will Muschamp era and the most against an SEC opponent under the second-year head coach. The Gamecocks set season highs with 212 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. Sophomore running back A.J. Turner finished with 15 carries for 121 yards and a score. It was the team’s first 100-yard game of the season. Sophomore quarterback was second among South Carolina ball carriers with 47 yards and 2 scores, which ties him for the team-high in rushing touchdowns. He connected on 19 of 29 throws for 174 yards and a touchdown, a 36-yard hookup with freshman wide receiver Shi Smith. Smith led all Gamecocks receivers with 5 receptions for 76 yards against Vanderbilt. Junior tight end Hayden Hurst, who also was heavily targeted, had 4 catches for 31 yards. The team totaled 10 chunk plays – passes of 20 or more yards and runs of 10 or more yards. Eight of the chunk plays were on the ground. This was the most complete offensive performance by South Carolina in 2017. Defense: D-plus Vanderbilt Kyle Shurmur completed 27 of 49 passes for 333 yards with 4 touchdowns and an interception, an easy grab by junior defensive back Steven Montac that setup Parker White’s 44-yard field goal in the second quarter. For the first time all season, junior cornerback Rashad Fenton gave up a touchdown. The third-quarter play, a 47-yard grab by Kalija Lipscomb, was a 50/50 ball that was wrestled away from the Gamecocks star cornerback. Fenton’s receivers were targeted often throughout the game, allowing him to finish with 4 pass breakups. Vanderbilt’s performance was the second-best passing output surrendered by South Carolina’s defense this season. The Gamecocks gave up 107 yards on 23 carries for an average of 4.7 yards per run. Though there might be some concern over the lack of pressure on Shurmer, Muschamp didn’t seem too upset about the lack of sacks. Special teams: B White converted on kicks from 44 and 39 yards, but missed one from 47. Five of his seven seven kickoffs went for touchbacks. Redshirt sophomore punter Joseph Charlton averaged 48 yards per punt with a long of 54. Coaching: B Co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper called a solid game, mixing up the run and pass after going heavy with the pass to start the game. Kudos are also in order for running backs coach Bobby Bentley and the rest of the offensive staff for sticking with Turner, who had the hot hand running the ball. Defensively, the performance might have left a little bit to be desired on the stat sheet, but the group stood tall on another late drive, much like it did against North Carolina State and Tennessee. Some of that has to be credited to the Gamecocks defensive brain trust. As a whole team had a successful bye week, and it was clear that they were focused on the task at hand. The 1-week season mantra paid off, given what’s next on the schedule.
  24. South Carolina’s Fenton Island weathers the storm vs Vanderbilt OCTOBER 29, 2017 Rashad Fenton has justifiably built his reputation as one of the better corners in the SEC. The Florida product has grown into a star this season, becoming a lockdown corner for South Carolina's football team. But even the best have rough days, and Fenton, nicknamed "Fenton Island," had to weather the storm in a 34-27 win against Vanderbilt. Fenton twice got called for pass interference, once to convert a third and 10 to keep the Final Commodore touchdown drive going. He was also targeted on gains of 36, 16 and 47 yards, the last a jump-ball Kalija Lipscomb touchdown where he had good position and the wide receiver made a play over him. That was actually the theme on the night, as just about every big ball completed his way was a great catch or tough play. "They caught the 50-50 ball on him in a situation where their guy wrestled it from him," Will Muschamp said. "You've got to give (Trent) Sherfield credit, he's a really good player." Sherfield had 59 yards on his four catches. And it didn't seem as if Vanderbilt was shy about throwing the ball Fenton's way. He held his own for much of the game, getting four pass break ups. He notably did a good job defending a fade on Vanderbilt's second-to-last play, holding up against Sherfield in tight one-on-one coverage. USC gave up big play to Commodores passer Kyle Shurmur, with eight passes longer than 16 yards, but there wasn't much consistency with fewer than 6.8 yards per attempt. Fenton had some bad spots, but considering the way things went, Will Muschamp wasn't too mad. "If they target him a lot, that's fine with me," Muschamp said. "We'll end up winning a bunch more of those than they will." THE STATE
  25. Why Jamyest Williams sat for most of 2nd half vs. Vandy OCTOBER 29, 2017 To the naked eye, it was clear something had gone wrong for South Carolina freshman defensive back Jamyest Williams. On third-and-7 from USC’s 8-yard line in the second quarter Saturday against Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks defensive staff got aggressive. USC sent a six-man pressure at Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur, even pulling the rare feat of outnumbering blockers. The top thing USC couldn’t do was give up something quick and easy, and maybe over the middle. Williams gave up all three on a slant for a score, and heard it from Will Muschamp and defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson on the sideline. “You’ve got to cut the guy off inside,” Muschamp said after the game, still seeming a little fired up about the subject. “You’ve got to cut him on the 1-yard line. You don’t back up into the end zone. That’s a base rule of what we do. And that’s why we play pretty decent red zone defense when we play smart and you play the way you’re coached to play. And when you don’t, that happens.” It wasn’t clear if Muschamp’s “that” referred to the touchdown or Williams losing playing time thereafter, but the latter certainly happened. Williams played USC’s next snap after the touchdown and didn’t see the field again until the end of the third quarter when the team appeared to play six defensive backs. He got one snap there and then three during Vanderbilt’s touchdown drive to cut it to a one-score game in the final quarter. In his place, Chris Lammons moved down to nickel, and steady Steven Montac subbed in at safety. Antoine Wilder also played a fair amount of strongside linebacker, where USC was without injured starter Sherrod Greene (who in turn took the spot of Bryson Allen-Williams, who is out for the season). Williams is eighth on the team with 29 tackles. He’s played in all eight games, starting five, including Saturday against the Commodores. THE STATE

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