FOOTBALL | NCAAF

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. South Carolina Gamecocks Pick & Prediction OCT 16TH 2021

Complete Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia
137Commodores Vanderbilt
138Gamecocks South Carolina
OP
49.5
-20
CU
49o -110
-19 -110
ML
ML: 700
ML: -1100
Partials
1 4
3 7 7 3
14 0 0 7
Score
20
21
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Either South Carolina or Vanderbilt will get a much-desired first Southeastern Conference victory for its first-year coach when the teams meet Saturday in Columbia, S.C.

The Gamecocks (3-3, 0-3 SEC), under rookie coach Shane Beamer, will be seeking a 13th straight victory in the series. South Carolina is coming off a 45-20 defeat at Tennessee.

The Commodores (2-4, 0-2) lost 42-0 at Florida last week. Clark Lea is in his first year as coach after three years as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator.

Lea said his team and South Carolina aren't necessarily similar just because of their records and rookie coaches.

"Every program's different and every program is positioned differently, and different players and different situations," Lea said. "I don't think you can draw a lot of comparison that way. It's two teams that are going to be fighting for a win on Saturday."

During their weekly press conferences, the coaches both stressed optimism and the need to continue to improve.

"When you win in this league, things are certainly magnified and you're great," Beamer said. "When you lose in this league, things are obviously magnified and you're not so great."

One glaring weakness the Gamecocks hope to improve is the running game, which is compiling 124.5 yards per game. Since gaining 254 yards in a 46-0 season-opening win against Eastern Illinois, South Carolina hasn't rushed for more than the 153 in last week's loss at Tennessee.

Quarterback Luke Doty has led the offense since replacing Zeb Noland during the Week 3 loss at Georgia. Doty has completed 69 of 116 with three touchdowns and one interception.

"I'm not happy where we are -- nobody is," said Beamer, son of former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. "But the group I was excited about coming into the season, we still are. They're still there."

Despite being shut out at Florida last week, Vanderbilt chalked up a few positives. Namely, the Commodores ran 80 plays offensively and were 8 of 20 on third down.

"We were good in spurts, but obviously good in spurts in this conference sets you up for a disappointing result," said Lea, whose team is being outgained about 453 to 311.

South Carolina leads the series 26-4. The Gamecocks will be trying to capture their 100th win in the SEC, as they enter 99-137-1 for 30 years in the conference.

--Field Level Media

Vanderbilt Commodores vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

South Carolina held Vanderbilt to 189 total yards and picked off the Commodores twice Saturday night as the Gamecocks rolled to a 24-7 win in Southeastern Conference action in Columbia, S.C.

Bryan Edwards fueled the Gamecocks with 14 catches for 139 yards and caught a touchdown from quarterback Ryan Hilinski to put the game out of reach with 6:39 left.

With South Carolina (4-5, 3-4 SEC) leading 14-7 late in the third quarter, cornerback R.J. Roderick intercepted Vanderbilt's Deuce Wallace at the VU 29. Parker White followed with a 22-yard field goal to give the Gamecocks their first double-figure lead.

Vandy (2-6, 1-4) forced a South Carolina punt to open the game, then, went 77 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown that came when quarterback Riley Neal hit a wide-open Cam Johnson down the left hash for an easy 26-yard score.

The Gamecocks answered when Hilinski hit wide receiver Xavier Legette with a 20-yard dart in the end zone, tying the game at 7-7 with 7:50 left in the second quarter.

Following Vandy's second-straight three-and-out, Carolina marched 69 yards in 13 plays and took the lead with 1:38 left in the first half on running back a 1-yard run by Kevin Harris.

The Commodores had a messy situation on offense, especially at quarterback.

Neal, Vandy's starter the first five games, started this one after being benched for Mo Hasan, who helped lead the Commodores to an upset of Missouri two weeks ago. Hasan, injured in that game, didn't clear the concussion protocol and didn't travel to Columbia.

But Neal was knocked out of the game with an undisclosed injury after Vanderbilt's first touchdown and didn't return. With fourth-teamer Allan Walters also out, that left Wallace (8 of 17, 30 yards) to go the distance.

Wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb, Vandy's first-team preseason All-SEC pick and its leading receiver, didn't play due to a coaching staff's decision.

--Field Level Media

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