Forget about the quarterback situation currently festering in Nashville.

If the Commodores seek their first SEC win Saturday night against South Carolina then Ralph Webb’s the answer, a slithery 195-pound scatback who runs hard despite the fact he’s playing behind an offensive line returning four starters that hasn’t opened many holes this season.

“The biggest deal this week is not to have a letdown,” said Gamecocks defensive line Deke Adams after practice this week. “We have to go and play well again this week, or play even better than we did last week. Our biggest challenge every week is stopping the run. Right now, we’re not very good since we’re last in the conference at stopping the run since we gave up a lot early in the first week.

“Vanderbilt is a team that prides itself on running the football, so we have to stop the run and once we get a hold of that, then we have to get to the quarterback.”

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Tacking was a major issue for South Carolina’s front seven the first two weeks of the season against Air Raid offenses, but the Gamecocks fared much better in last week’s win over Georgia. Despite battling the best running back in the nation, South Carolina’s defense wrapped up Todd Gurley and limited his production after contact, one of the keys going into the game.

The Gamecocks’ defense is still rated the SEC’s worst at 513.7 yards per game, but that could change Saturday night if South Carolina can tighten its grip on the Vanderbilt run game and force quarterback Patton Robinette to look down the field.

South Carolina’s given up a league-high 518 yards rushing in three games and places 125th nationally out of 128 teams against the pass (341.0 YPG).

“We’ve always had faith in our entire team,” defensive tackle Gerald Dixon said. “We knew we had young defensive backs when we first started and we knew they would start slowly, but they’ve grown with the team and we’ve become stronger since that first week.”

Dixon’s correct in his assessment that the defense has steadily improved, a product of numbers being skewed after the Gamecocks came out flat with little to no poise in that opening loss to Texas A&M. Vanderbilt’s offense has struggled mightily through the first quarter of the season, but Webb’s accounted for nearly 90 percent of the team’s rushing offense.

If the Gamecocks can make the Commodores one-dimensional and the linebackers tackle well, the chances of Vanderbilt sustaining drives offensively are slim. Webb’s one of 31 true or redshirt freshmen to play for Derek Mason’s group this season, an FBS-high.

South Carolina beat Vanderbilt, 35-25, last fall but had to hold off a furious rally in the second half after building a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

“We got the win, but we had some mental errors,   We have had some mental errors in the past games. We’ve been working on the mental part the last week and filling our gaps. Hopefully if everybody does their job, we’ll come out with a win.”

Added tight end Busta Anderson: “Vandy is a very good team. No matter what people say about them, they always come out and play hard. This year, I think we’re a little more prepared because we’re used to what they’re showing us offensively and defensively. I feel like we just have to come in, be prepared and ready to go.”