Gamecocks seek first win of the year against Vanderbilt

Gamecocks seek first win of the year against Vanderbilt
Gamecocks linebacker Ernest Jones comes up with the takeaway against Florida. (Source: Courtney Culbreath)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks have played just two games and the results haven’t been what the fans, players, or coaches have expected.

Will Muschamp and his team find themselves 0-2 heading into this weekend’s matchup needing a win to turn things around. For Carolina, that could happen this weekend when they face Vanderbilt on the road.

The Gamecocks have won the last 11 meetings and 18 of the last 20 against the Commodores. This weekend, they are hoping to continue that streak of success. However, they understand a win won’t come easy.

Like South Carolina, Vanderbilt has lost their last two games. Last week, the Commodores fell to reigning national champion LSU 41-7. In all, Vandy has been outscored 58-19 this season.

The Commodores are led by Ken Seals at quarterback. He has completed just over 57% of his passes this season while throwing for 263 yards. The Commodores' leading rusher is Ja’Veon Marlow, who has 148 yards this year. Vandy will also lean on Amir Abdur-Rahman and Ben Bresnahan at wide receiver. Combined, the duo has collected 12 catches for 135 yards and two touchdown catches.

“They jump in 12 personnel and they’re in multiple formations, which creates some issues as far as matchups, how you want to play that. Ben Bresnahan is a tight end that they’ve really used early in the season [Jamauri] Wakefield’s been a back that’s been there since we’ve been here. He’s been there a long time. We think he and Malow are really good players and Cam Johnson plays really in the slot for them. They do some really good things offensively that post some issues for you.”

Defensively, Carolina will have to shore up some issues in the secondary if they hope to pull out a win over Vandy. In their last two games, the Gamecocks have allowed almost 265 yards per game and 13 yards per catch. With that in mind, Carolina hopes to limit the explosive plays this week in the passing game.

“So far in the past couple of games, we’ve done some good stuff,” said Gamecocks sophomore defensive back John Dixon. “We’ve done some bad stuff. We’re just going to continue to work. I wouldn’t say we’re disappointed. We just continue to get better, fix what we mess us, look for better results.”

While the Carolina defense may be working to shore up a few things, the Carolina offense may be licking their chops. In the last two weeks, Vandy has given up an average of nearly 30 points and 435 yards per game. Knowing that, the Gamecocks may try to find ways to stretch the field a little more vertically.

South Carolina takes on Vanderbilt at noon Saturday on the SEC Network.

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