Although everyone will be watching Alabama-Texas A&M, the SEC has some great underrated matchups this weekend outside of College Station, starting with Vanderbilt and South Carolina.
Here’s what to watch for:
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Signature win: The Commodores are still looking for that first signature win of the James Franklin era, and how much better it would be to get it against a team licking their wounds from Saturday. They’ve been to back-to-back bowl games; they’ve been ranked; they have fresh ink in the football records. Now, it’s time to step up and beat a ranked opponent. It’s time to beat someone they’re not supposed to, and the Commodores will get the credit they desire. It would be a huge win for Franklin and the program.
So good at home: Road trips to Columbia haven’t been kind to visiting teams during the Steve Spurrier era. The Gamecocks are 32-5 (86.5%) in the last five years at Williams-Brice. Night games, especially, have rare energy inside the stadium. Expect it to be rocking as usual, which creates a hostile environment and a serious home-field advantage for the Gamecocks.
Related: Spurrier overrated to UGA loss
Davis and Matthews: Two of the best SEC players at their respective positions will be on display. Carolina RB Mike Davis has rushed for 264 yards and two touchdowns, and he’s the only player in the country to have recorded two 75-yard runs. Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews could be the country’s top receiver. What more do we need? Matthews has caught 16 passes for 289 yards and two touchdowns, and he is currently fourth in the country averaging over 144 yards per game. Both were underrated entering 2013, and both have a stage on ESPN Saturday night to make a serious statement.
Porous defense: Georgia putting up 41 points and over 500 yards of offense is so alarming that Steve Spurrier threw in some input to Lorenzo Ward. The Bulldogs torched the Carolina secondary for over 300 yards passing and four TDs, and although Vandy isn’t Georgia, they’re going to move the football through the air. Austyn Carta-Samuels is fourth in passing yards with 523 in basically six quarters of play, and Matthews is better than all of Georgia’s receivers. The Gamecocks’ defense has given up 32 plays of 10 yards or more, and that’s second most in the SEC.
Clowney: Do you think Jadeveon Clowney is overhyped? Did you think his 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss last year were impressive? Through two weeks, Clowney has the exact same stats he had last year entering week three – six tackles and one sack. So, to say we’re overreacting about the lack of Clowney’s numbers is accurate. Should the hype settle down? Sure, and it will settle down, but there’s way too much season left to sell you Clowney Heisman stock. He is capable of busting loose at any time.
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