Early preview: Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina
The Matchup: No. 14 South Carolina (2-1, 1-1) at Vanderbilt (1-2, 0-1)
The Venue: Vanderbilt Stadium
The Kick: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Series Record: South Carolina leads 19-4
Last Meeting: The Gamecocks jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter last fall in Columbia, S.C. before the Commodores mounted a furious rally thanks to a couple second-half turnovers. South Carolina prevailed however, 35-25, behind 284 yards passing and three touchdowns from senior quarterback Connor Shaw.
Coaches: SC — Steve Spurrier (221-80-2 overall); VU — Derek Mason (1-2 overall).
Last game (South Carolina): Clinging to a national ranking at No. 24, the Gamecocks downed sixth-ranked Georgia, 38-35, to knock the Bulldogs off course in their quest for a College Football Playoff berth, opening the door for others in the Eastern Division.
Last game (Vanderbilt): The Commodores rallied from an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to upend UMass, Mason’s first as Vanderbilt’s head coach.
South Carolina wins if: The Gamecocks show signs of life defensively and the pound the football with the likes of veteran running backs Mike Davis and Brandon Wilds.
Vanderbilt wins if: Quarterback Patton Robinette has a career day and gashed South Carolina’s underwhelming secondary for 400-plus yards and five touchdowns.
What it means if South Carolina wins: The Gamecocks stay one game ahead of rival Georgia in the race for SEC East supremacy. Defending division champ Mizzou’s yet to play a league game and Florida’s 1-0 against conference competition.
What it means if Vanderbilt wins: Spurrier ponders his next move after his third loss to the Commodores during his tenure at South Carolina.