South Carolina will try to bounce back from the team's first loss of the year Saturday night. The Gamecocks are set to host the Vanderbilt Commodores at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. S.C.
Carolina is stinging from a 41-30 defeat at Georgia last week, and if S.C. wants to remain in the race for a conference title, the team can't afford a second straight loss. The Gamecocks used a strong defensive effort to roll over North Carolina in the season opener, but it couldn't hold up against quarterback Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs' high-flying offense.
While the Commodore offense isn't as potent as Georgia's, it shouldn't be overlooked. Vandy is averaging 36.5 points and 434.0 yards per contest through the first two games of the year. If Steve Spurrier's team isn't careful, it could get gashed for the second week in a row.
Rankings and records: The Commodores (1-1, 0-1 SEC) are unranked going into this matchup and likely will be no matter the outcome. After its defeat at Georgia, South Carolina (1-1, 0-1) enters the game at No. 14 in the USA Today Coaches' Poll and No. 13 in the AP Top 25. The teams have played 22 times, and the Gamecocks hold a dominating 18-4 record against Vandy. Last year, Carolina won in Nashville on the opening Thursday of the season, 17-14.
Vegas: The oddsmakers really like the Gamecocks, who are favored by 13½ points at most sportsbooks. The over-under is either 51 or 51½, depending on where you look.
Weather: The forecast calls for partly clear skies with a high of 82 and a low of 58.
Three names to know
Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina DE: The best defensive player in the country, Clowney has received so much hype that his season has been a perceived disappointment so far. Vandy's offensive line has played well, allowing just one sack through two weeks. Will Clowney have a breakout game?
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt WR: He's one of the best receivers in the country, but because he plays at Vanderbilt, Matthews doesn't seem to get the attention he deserves. For the Commodores to win, he'll have to come up with a big night.
Steve Spurrier, South Carolina HC: The Gamecocks are coming off a really tough loss, but they certainly aren't out of the SEC East race yet. How will Spurrier have his team ready to bounce back from its first defeat of the season?
Two things at stake
Vanderbilt is trying to get a statement win against a top-tier SEC team. The 'Dores have become much more relevant in the last two seasons, but they still don't have a win against the conference elite.
South Carolina is trying to stay on the road to Atlanta. The Gamecocks have an easier schedule the rest of the way compared to Georgia, but if they suffer a second SEC loss, it could put them out of contention.
How to witness
TV: ESPN, 7 p.m. ET
Online streaming: ESPN3