Staff Predictions: Vanderbilt

The staff predicts the score of the Vanderbilt game. Look inside! Staff Predictions: Vanderbilt
Paul Stewart - Staff Writer
South Carolina tripped up last week at Kentucky and has struggled on the road in the last two seasons. Marcus Lattimore may be out but I expect the Gamecocks' offense and defense to get back on track tonight as the jump on the Commodores early and put them away this time.

South Carolina - 45
Vanderbilt - 10
David Porter - Beat Writer
Who thought looking at the schedule before the season that the winner of the South Carolina/Vanderbilt game would be first in the SEC East? That just shows you how crazy the East has been this season. To the best of my knowledge, an SEC East Champion has never lost to Kentucky or Vanderbilt, the two perennial bottom-feeders of the division. Even in a down year for the East, I don't think you could lose to both Kentucky and Vanderbilt and still have a shot at the East. I know this phrase is tossed around a lot, but this truly is a must-win for South Carolina. If the Gamecocks lose, they will no longer hold their own fate.

Ellis Johnson said it best yesterday. Vanderbilt has struggled lately because they've gotten behind and been forced to throw the ball more than they'd like. If the Gamecocks can jump out to a big lead early the can really put the Commodores behind the 8-ball. I think they will do that and, unlike last week, they will finish the job.

South Carolina- 31
Vanderbilt - 13
Ryan Bethea - Photographer
South Carolina is still in the driver's seat. But in true Gamecock fashion, they are taking the road less traveled and adding so much unnecessary drama to its SEC East bid. A week after their second half collapse against Kentucky, the Gamecocks will take the show on the road to Nashville on Saturday. USC's explosive freshman Marcus Lattimore will at least make the trip, injured ankle and all. That in and of itself should count for one touchdown since anytime he sniffs the football, six points is not far behind. On the opposite side, Ellis Johnson's defense should be hungry, humbled, refocused and charged up after the embarrassment in Lexington.

I expect for Carolina to get essentially back down to basics and right the ship - Commodore style.

Otherwise, I have no clue where this road might take us. (insert 2007, 2008 Vandy meltdowns) On a side note, raise your hand if at the beginning of the season, you though this mid-October showdown in Nashville would be a battle for first place in the East?

The Gamecocks will snap their seven-game SEC road skid in front of a jam-packed crowd of 39,790.

South Carolina - 31
Vanderbilt - 13
Jason Ross - Recruiting/Football Analyst
The Gamecocks are coming off a heartbreaking loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in which they couldn't have done a better job at giving a game. Look for the Gamecocks to come out and prove early that they are a better team than what they showed last Saturday, especially on the defensive side of the ball. I expect the Gamecock offense to take a series or two to get the cobwebs out of the system especially if Marcus Lattimore is limited in the reps he can contribute. However, I do think the Gamecocks will jump out to an early lead thus forcing Vanderbilt into some things they don't want to do offensively. Vanderbilt does not have the offensive firepower that Kentucky has and will struggle to get back in the game if South Carolina jumps out early with a big lead. If the Gamecocks can avoid the turnover bug then they should win this one comfortably. Recently, Vanderbilt has played South Carolina very competitively, but that should not be the case this year where the Gamecocks are clearly the more talented team. Throw in the fact that this is a must win for the Gamecocks for a variety of reasons, I think the Gamecocks take care of business.

South Carolina - 31
Vanderbilt - 13
Jonathan Jolley - Recruiting/football Analyst
The Gamecocks will bounce back in a big way this weekend against an overmatched, demoralized Vanderbilt team coming off a 43-0 beatdown against Georgia. This is not the competitive Vandy team of recent years, and unfortunately for them the Gamecocks will come out focused and ready to prove a point on Saturday evening. Last year's leading rusher Kenny Miles will make the most of his opportunity to start against the SEC's last ranked rushing defense, and the Gamecocks will continue their offensive domination in the red zone by scoring early and often. The South Carolina defense will tighten up to limit QB Larry Smith and the Commodore offense to only a few meaningful drives on the evening, which won't be nearly enough to keep the game competitive.

South Carolina - 38
Vanderbilt - 10

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