The South Carolina Gamecocks got back on track in the SEC over the weekend with a convincing win over Vanderbilt. Despite only winning by a score of 35-25, the Gamecocks led by four possessions at the end of the third quarter and really played well on both sides of the ball before letting up in the fourth.
The one area where South Carolina struggled was on special teams play, and our Gamecocks blog, Garnet and Black Attack, wasn't too happy with all of the sloppiness:
Despite besting Vandy in total yards (579 to 268), time of possession (37:10 to 21:55), and first downs (31 to 14), a remarkably awful showing by the special teams unit allowed the Commodores to storm back from a 28-0 deficit to make this one more interesting than it ought to have been. The Gamecocks fumbled a kickoff return and a punt return and had another bounce off of TJ Gurley's leg and into the arms of a Vanderbilt gunner. And Tyler Hull punted a pair of balls that went for just 19 and 29 yards.
Our Vanderbilt blog, Anchor of Gold, recapped what was a frustrating night for the Commodores. A promotional commercial for the university was essentially the highlight of the night:
South Carolina nearly ran the 'Dores out of Columbia early, dominating Vanderbilt in the first two quarters and holding on late en route to a 35-25 victory. Vandy's inexperienced linebacking corps had no answer for USC's mobile quarterbacks, and that proved to be the difference in a high-scoring game. Wesley Tate helped turn things around with a huge second half, but it wasn't enough to deliver the team's first SEC win of the season.
As Team Speed Kills noted, it was more of the same for Vanderbilt football:
The game Saturday between the Gamecocks and the Commodores might have been a contest between the New Carolina and the New Vanderbilt, but in some ways it felt like the Vanderbilt games that South Carolina vans and others have gotten used to: A statistically dominating effort that somehow ends up in a tooth-and-nail fight that you simply have to survive. Unfortunately for Vanderbilt fans, it also turned out with a familiar result.