Head to head: Vanderbilt vs. South Carolina

Next up for Vanderbilt is South Carolina. VandyMania.com compares different critical team areas of Vanderbilt and South Carolina and indicates which team has the edge.

VANDERBILT
EDGE
AREA
South Carolina
EDGE
COMMENTS
EVEN  
Vanderbilt rushing offense
vs.
South Carolina rushing defense
EVEN  
This match-up pits the No. 38 Vanderbilt rushing offense against the No. 74 USC rushing defense. Vandy will rely on Warren Norman and possibly Jared Hawkins, who could return from injury. Hawkins has been hurt most of the season.  
 
Vanderbilt passing offense
vs.
South Carolina passing defense
 
South Carolina, like Vanderbilt, has a very good pass defense (No. 5 in FBS). Cornerback C.C. Whitlock has one interception and four defended passes this season. Wide Receiver John Cole leads the Commodores with 19 receptions for 200 yards. Vanderbilt quarterback Larry Smith has struggled throughout the season at passing the ball. Vandy is rated 119th nationally in passing efficiency.  
 
South Carolina rushing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt rushing defense
 
South Carolina edge. The Vanderbilt rushing defense has gotten progressively worse as the season has gone on and is now rated 91st out of 120 FBS teams. South Carolina's rushing offense is no Juggernaut but the Gamecocks should be able to gain ample yardage on the Commodore defense. One factor that could work in the Commodores favor is the possibility that veteran defensive end Steven Stone will finally be able to play in game this season. The Gamecock's top rusher is Kenny Miles who has 315 yards rushing this season.  
 
South Carolina passing offense
vs.
Vanderbilt passing defense
 
South Carolina has likely lost their top receiver, Moe Brown, for the game due to injury. Vandy's passing defense has played well all season but looked poor at times last week against Georgia. The Commodores are led by cornerback Myron Lewis who has three interceptions this season. Tight end Weslye Saunders has 17 catches for the Gamecocks. USC quarterback Stephen Garcia has improved his play this season. He's got nine touchdowns as opposed to just four interceptions. Last week against Alabama Garcia completed 20-of-46 passes for 214 yards, an interception and no touchdowns.  
Special Teams
 
South Carolina kicker Spencer Lanning, who also punts, is 12-of-14 this season with a long kick of 41 yards. Vandy's Ryan Fowler is 8-of-12 on the season and like Lanning, has a long kick of 41 yards. No Vanderbilt opponent has missed a field goal attempt against Vandy this season (13-of-13). Vandy's Brett Upson has a 42.3 punting average but the Commodores gave up two very long punt returns to Georgia last week. Lanning averages 42.3 yards a punt for the Gamecocks. South Carolina also has a superior kick return game to Vanderbilt.  
EVEN  
Coaching
EVEN  
Steve Spurrier as head coach at Florida had previously dominated Vandy but the Commodores have won two straight over Spurrier under head coach Bobby Johnson.  
 
Intangibles
 
Vanderbilt is reeling and displayed some signs of throwing in the towel during the game last week against Georgia. USC will be at home and very motivated to get bowl eligible while ending the two-game losing streak to Vandy.  


PREDICTION: South Carolina 24, Vanderbilt 10

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