Date/Time: September 14, 2013 7:00 pm EST
College Football Betting Favorite: South Carolina -13.5
The Vanderbilt Commodores suffered a very tough loss to start the season against Ole Miss. South Carolina opened with a win, but they were dropped last week by a very good Georgia Bulldogs team. There are no easy games in the SEC, and both of these teams will be very hungry for a win this Saturday night. Let’s take a closer look at this game, which will be featured on ESPN Saturday night.
The Vanderbilt football program wasn’t any good for a very long time, but the past couple years have been huge steps in the right direction. James Franklin has done a terrific job changing expectations in Nashville. Heading into the 2013 season, the Commodores had some major off the field problems. A major rape investigation into some key players from this year’s team as well as players who have just graduated really turned this program upside down.
The Commodores were slight underdogs at home in week one to Ole Miss at home. The Rebels ended up winning a back and forth battle with a late touchdown. Vanderbilt got in the win column last week by beating up Austin Peay 38-3. The Commodores have a star receiver in Jordan Matthews. Austyn Carta-Samuels has stepped in as the new quarterback, and so far this year he has been pretty good. Vanderbilt’s defense isn’t quite as strong as it was last season. The front seven is much more inexperienced, and I expect that to equal more rushing yards for SEC opponents in 2013.
The South Carolina football program has made great strides under the leadership of Steve Spurrier. JeDeveon Clowney got all the attention in the offseason after absolutely rocking Michigan running back Vincent Smith in the Outback Bowl last year. Clowney hasn’t been as good as advertised in the first two games this year, and he hasn’t been all that happy with how the coaching staff is using him in their game plan. Still, the Gamecocks defense isn’t one of the most talented in the country. Georgia scored 41 points on them last week, but the Bulldogs are going to score a lot on everyone this year.
Offensively, South Carolina has been pretty good so far this year. The running game has worked better than most people expected. Sophomore running back Mike Davis already has 264 rushing yards in the team’s first two games. If the Gamecocks can keep racking up the rushing yards, this team is going to be tough to beat this season. Connor Shaw has been the first-team quarterback this year, and he has three touchdowns compared to zero interceptions. The offensive line is much improved, and their play has really led to the Gamecocks success on offense so far this season.
Free Pick: South Carolina -13.5
Vanderbilt isn’t nearly as good on the road as they are at home. The Gamecocks won’t be in a good mood after losing last week at Georgia. Look for South Carolina’s defense to dominate in this one.
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