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Game Roundup: Lattimore Returns, Shaw Shows Grit, Vandy Shows Spunk… And Carolina Wins

Each week of the season we’ll try to provide you with a quickie roundup of each SEC contest.  Basically, the bulletpoints that stood out to us.  Here’s our take on the SEC’s first game of the season.

 

South Carolina 17, Vanderbilt 13 in Nashville

Key Stat:  In the last 99 SEC contests over the past three seasons, only 12 times has a team won the turnover battle only to lose the game.  Vandy became #12 last night when the Commodores lost at home despite holding a 2-1 advantage in turnovers.  There’s a reason Carolina almost lost… turnovers.

Quick Takes:

* Carolina fans complaining about Georgia’s schedule had better worry about their own offense and spotty secondary play.  The Gamecocks don’t have a consistent, accurate passer… so each game will come down to Connor Shaw’s legs, Marcus Lattimore’s legs and their ability to rush the passer.

* USC’s thin secondary had some busts on the evening, including Jordan Rodgers’ 78-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Matthews in the second quarter.

* Lattimore looked good rushing 23 times for 110 yards and catching three more balls for another 21.  He also fumbled early.  If he stays healthy, that gives Carolina a Heisman candidate to lean on.

* But if Lattimore gets hurt or if Shaw — who showed real guts in playing with what was termed a bruised shoulder but looked an awful lot like a separated shoulder — misses any playing time, USC will become way too one-dimensional and way too reliant on one man to provide that dimension.

* This ain’t your daddy’s Vanderbilt, folks.  James Franklin had a fired up crowd in the stands and a confident team on the field.  Rodgers wasn’t scintillating, but he was solid.  Considering Carolina’s pass rush, that’s good enough.  VU had a chance to win last night.

* Franklin wouldn’t comment on what looked to be pass interference on the Dores’ final fling of the night.  No flag was thrown.  Instead — and it’s praiseworthy that he focused on his team, not the refs — the coach said: “At some point, we’ve got to find a way to win these tough games.  The margin of error is not real big for us.”

(Thanks for patiently waiting for me to proofread and correct this post.  An hour at the doctor’s office made this football Friday more hectic than most.  My apologies.)

 


3 comments
BonzaiB
BonzaiB

Very good first game. 1st qtr was a little sloppy, but things tightened up very quickly. Vandy has a smart, tough and talented team and obviously coached to win, not just to show up. In the second quarter, USC's defense looked dog-eared tired. Vandy did not look out gunned in that match up, and certainly Carolina's defense was not that much (if any) better than Vandy's offense. Vandy was tough enough on defense that Spurrier had to play an obviously injured Shaw a lot longer than any coach who was facing a defense he thought he could grind down. If I had to pick one, I'd say Vandy showed up in better shape than Carolina, and if they were not playing above their game on this one, Vandy fans should show up this season to watch, because it will be interesting.

 

Very, very good first game of the season for Vandy, and a few warning bells for Carolina. Spurrier has some work to do (and Shaw is going to be one hurting Gamecock for awhile), because he took some very hard shots in the second half. I dunno, but that man had to be in serious pain the whole second half, and not sure playing him that long was smart, but what do I know. Man it was painful to watch him take those shots in the second half.

mac
mac

 @BonzaiB players like shaw refuse to be out of games no matter what. every team has those kinds of guys

MoKelly1
MoKelly1 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Well, South Carolina did not cover the points and I lost this bet. 0-1 for the season. Not a good start.

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