Here are five South Carolina players every Vanderbilt fan needs to know by Saturday:

  1. Dylan Thompson (QB): South Carolina’s career backup quarterback who stepped into a starting role this season is averaging 300 passing yards per game and is on pace to shatter the school’s single-season record. Vanderbilt’s defense is one of only two SEC teams without an interception this season and has given up five passing touchdowns — second only to the Gamecocks’ six.
  2. Brandon Wilds (RB): Wilds made the most of his 14 carries in last week’s win over Georgia as Mike Davis’ primary backup, notching 93 yards and a touchdown. Davis gets the pub as South Carolina’s 1,100-yard returning rusher, but Wilds is the player who has ran harder and with more of a purpose this season. Much of that can be attributed to Wilds being healthy for one of the first times in his career while Davis has battled a nagging rib injury.
  3. Elliott Fry (K); Pharoh Cooper (ATH): It’s bending the rules a bit, but there’s two Gamecocks on special teams that could play a factor.One of the SEC’s most underrated players in the kicking game is Fry who is 5 of 6 on the year and is sure to get a chance in field goal range on Saturday. Cooper is the Gamecocks’ first-team punt returner and starting wide receiver. In emergency situations according to Steve Spurrier, the former prep quarterback can also take a healthy number of snaps under center.
  4. Darius English (DE): Coaches have waited patiently for this Georgia native to come out of his shell and this could be the season as a redshirt sophomore. English chased down Todd Gurley from behind 15 yards upfield last time out on a nifty tackle and has nine total stops this fall. Keep an eye on English against an offensive line that’s given up the third-most sacks (6.0) in the SEC.
  5. Shaq Roland (WR): This junior is South Carolina’s most gifted pass-catcher, but the results haven’t been there early this season in what was scheduled to by the former Mr. Football in the Palmetto State’s breakout campaign. Roland could feast on a Vanderbilt secondary replacing all four starters especially if the commodores play 7-8 yards off the line of scrimmage and give up the screen game.