5 Predictions: Vanderbilt edition

For the second year, over the course of the season, I will be making five predictions for each of the South Carolina football games. Some may be bold, some may be safe, some may be right on target. This week we take a look at the South Carolina's opener in Nashville against Vanderbilt

1. Clowney will get to Rodgers

Certainly Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has spent the last month (or more) trying to devise an offensive scheme to counteract South Carolina's speed on the outside. Whether it be through screens to the running backs and wide receivers, or quick drops and release the ball, Franklin knows he has to get the ball out of Jordan Rodgers' hands before the pressure gets to him. Whether it be late in the game when Vanderbilt needs a long play or a third-and-long situation, Jadeveon Clowney will get to Rodgers and take him to the turf for his first sack of the season.

2. Holloman will lead the team in tackles

There is a reason why Antonio Allen led the Gamecocks in tackles last season. Not only was Allen a sensational athlete, but the Spur position allowed him to virtually play as a linebacker or a defensive back. Allen was moved around the field to be put him in a position to make plays. Holloman is bigger than Allen and he will better be able to shed blockers to get to the ball. Look for Holloman to be at the top of the tackle sheet.

3. Shaw will throw for 200+ yards

After throwing for 311 yards in his first full game at quarterback against a horrible Kentucky defense, Shaw would not even get near the 200-yard mark over the next four games. His high was 155 against Mississippi State the week after Kentucky and threw for just 81 and 87 yards against Tennessee and Florida, respectively. As Shaw came to life over the final three games, so did the offense. Shaw three for 200+ yards in each of the last three games and threw eight touchdown passes. Carolina has been notorious for slow starts in the opener, but Shaw can throw for 200+ against Vanderbilt if he is on his game.

4. Lattimore rushes for 100+ and a touchdown

Welcome back to college football Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore returns from his season-ending injury and he says he is 100% healthy. It shouldn't take long for everyone to find out for sure. Lattimore will get the ball early and often and we will all see if his knee can hold up. I think it will hold up just fine, and while 100 yards seems like an easy mark for a player that has reached that number eight times in 20 starts, given the circumstances of his injury 100 yards and a touchdown is attainable.

5. Meet Shaq Roland

Roland enters his first collegiate game third on the depth chart behind Ace Sanders and DeAngelo Smith, but he will get out on the field against the Commodores. Normally a freshman receiver will get in late in the game just to get on the field, but I expect Roland to get in fairly early. He knows the playbook and has been making plays all fall camp. I'm not predicting he will have a 50-yard touchdown catch, but I believe Roland will make his first collegiate catch in his first game.


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