Thoughts on South Carolina-Vanderbilt

Georgia will wake up tomorrow morning trailing somebody in the East.  You can read Jerry Hinnen’s preview here; it’s a good summary of the keys to the game.

One thing Jerry doesn’t mention is how dominant the Gamecocks were in last year’s meeting between the two.  Vanderbilt was held to 77 total yards and five first downs on offense.  The only reason the score wasn’t more lopsided was because Garcia threw four picks.

But neither team brings back its quarterback from that game.  Which gets me to the three things I’ll be watching most closely as an interested party who’s a fan of another SEC East program:  (1) Marcus Lattimore’s recovery; (2) Jordan Rodgers’ progress as a passer; and (3) the South Carolina secondary.

My gut tells me that the first item is the most important.  If Lattimore is able to come back tonight without missing a beat, it feels like a long night for Vandy.  It’s a big season for Spurrier and he’s not screwing around with his preparations for an opener against a conference foe.  James Franklin is going to learn what it’s like to be taken seriously in the SEC.  If Lattimore is shaking off the rust, I still like the ‘Cocks, but it’ll be a closer time for them.

And speaking of being taken seriously – you can’t sell out a home opener against a division opponent after last season’s momentum?  Shame, shame, Vanderbilt.

42 Comments

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42 responses to “Thoughts on South Carolina-Vanderbilt

  1. JasonC

    I’m hoping a Vandy OL misses Jaedevon with a chop block near the slide line and takes out Franklin’s knees and Shaw throws a horribly off-the-mark bullet and pegs Spurrier in the nose- breaking it and giving him a pair of shiners.

  2. All the sudden this game has become the UT/UF game. I want them both to lose.

  3. RocketDawg

    I used to go to Vandy games every now and again when I lived in Nashville, the only one that I can remember selling out was the year that they opened against Notre Dame on a Thursday night. It is the only time I have every felt a “football” atmosphere in that stadium. Vandy had a really good defense during those years and almost beat the Irish. Fun game.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      “Almost” Both teams’ football histories are filled with those.

    • Bulldawg165

      I’m surprised Vandy has such a hard time selling out games even though they aren’t that good. I’ve been to a few Georgia games up there and their stadium is about the size of a nice high school team’s.

    • AlphaDawg

      In defense of Vandy, the Titan’s have a home game tonight against the Saints.

      • Macallanlover

        I get your point about another event, Bulldawg165 is right, Nashville is a very large metro area and the Vandy stadium is small. If you are an SEC fan, an NFL scrimmage isn’t competition for your opening conference game in a year where you are, reported to be, excited about a change in your program. I think Vandy fans are like their coach, all mouth, no bite. I expect the game to be competitive (with SC winning), if I were a Vandy fan living in Nashville, I wouldn’t have slept well last night and would be there early dragging friends with me.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I was there too. Year 2 (and the last) of the ill-fated Rod Dowhower regime. The Dores did have an impressive D that season, and had the Domers tied 7-7 with 3 min. left. Then there was the typical Vanderbilt collapse to empty the stadium and set the tone for another 2-9 year. Included was that odd 13-2 loss to UGa.

  4. SCDawg

    I think what will be interesting is seeing whether Connor Shaw is any good. The fans and media in Columbia are tabbing him as the next great Spurrier QB, with some saying he’s ready to be the best QB in the SEC this year.

  5. fishook dawg

    I hope Vandy loses, because I believe Franklin’s only using Vandy as a stepping stone to promote himself for higher profile job.

    • The Lone Stranger

      I would like to see him get rolled a bunch this year, too. I can envision many entertaining press conferences as he blubbers and attempts to defend his brand of high profile ego-driven coaching.

  6. Spike

    My two cents? Any time the Cocks lose a SEC game is good news for me.

  7. SPURRIER also has the luxury of not having to worry about GA.

    • Having said that, Spurrier also lost that edge of earlier preparation against UGA of a few critical days when the game schedule were changed which caused him to have gone bonkers.

      • W Cobb Dawg

        You know sos is totally pissed about not getting his extra 2 days to prepare for us. And all those fu years he mandated an extra week before Jax to prepare. Our coaches and/or AD’s should have demanded that we have equal time to prepare.

  8. Hank

    I was in Nashville last night and in a bar not too far from the stadium. 3/4 empty. Nothing like what Friday night in Athens will be. GATA

  9. AthensHomerDawg

    Vandy held Lattimore to 77 yards rushing last year. I looked and he rambled for 1 76 against Coach Todd Damn Grantham’s D. The Hillbillies,Gators and Barners managed a total of 52 yards rushing against our D. And Auburn did most of that in the second half, after we decided that we had mete out enough punishment for Sybil’s Tiger/War Eagles boorish behavior in 2010. Whatever the Adorables did to slow Lattimore might be worth looking into.

  10. Georgia will wake up tommorow morning leading somebody in the East.
    …a glass half-full.

  11. Gravidy

    Ordinarily, I would enthusiastically root for a Vandy win (or, more corectly, a Carolina loss). But now that Vandy has gotten too big for their britches, I want them to lose too. Having said that, my hatred for Spurrier is older and deeper than my hatred for Franklin. I’ll still be hating Spurrier five years from now when Franklin is losing games at a bigger school. That history of hate, combined with a recognition of the fact that Carolina is a threat in the East and Vandy is not, means I’ll still be rooting for a Carolina loss tonight.

  12. Pazian

    As much as I hate Spurrier and the Cocks, I’d rather beat and undefeated/top-10 USCe team than one who has been bested by vandy and fallen to the bottom of the top-25. If South Carolina isn’t in the top 10 when we beat them we’ll still be listening to the tired old “UGA hasn’t beaten a top 10 team” rant when we finish our season undefeated.

  13. So… watching ‘Doors v. Cocks and pleasantly surprised to hear David Pollack providing commentary. Craig James has moved on killing hookers full time, and David Pollack is his replacement on the Thursday night games. Hot damn, what a difference a year makes!

  14. Scott

    terrible calls by Franklin in the 1st quarter.

  15. David

    Spurrier does realize he does not play Georgia next? Play calling not very good. Bobo must be calling the plays!

  16. DawgPhan

    Cocks caught a break tonight. hope it was their last. Defense did not look great. Clowney was not the beast I thought he would be. Secondary was ordinary. Offense was not impressive. Will be interesting to see if Vandy is that good (doubt it) or if USC can knock the rust off. Lattimore does not appear to be 100%.

    • Bulldog Joe

      QB Shaw gutted it out and got SC an SEC road win. This year’s Lattimore looks like a between-the-tackles runner and pass receiver who is not yet confident of his ability to cut outside or burn anyone with his speed. SC’s defense against the run looks competent and the pass rush looks like it can compensate for inexperience in the secondary. Ther coverage and return teams can use some work. SC will be a contender if they can keep Shaw healthy, which will be a challenge as Lattimore does not yet look like a 25-carry back.

      Vanderbilt looks like last year’s team, physically tough enough to knock someone off, but not talented enough to contend for a championship.

  17. I was underwhelmed by the performance of both teams.
    I couldn’t really care less who won this game.
    But one thing is consistent..an SEC ref blowing a game changing call.
    The SC defender got away with grabbing and chopping a receivers left arm on a long pass play on Vandy’s last, desperate possession. The ref was right there. He had to see it. Why didn’t he call it? I am so sick of this crap. If he’ll cheat once, he’ll do it again. How else do you explain it?
    I’ll bet Franklin is pissed and will have his say.
    Also, there were a few references to UGA’s “soft schedule” from the announcers.
    Connor Shaw is a great runner, but his passes tend to float. If he doesn’t correct this, he’ll get a lot of pics. SS better hope that shoulder heals, because the back up QBs didn’t look effective.
    Lattimore looked fine to me. I couldn’t understand him not getting more carries with Shaw hurt, though.