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SEC Game Preview – 8/30/12

Each week, all season long, we’ll provide you with a quick thumbnail sketch for each SEC football game.  Obviously, with the season kicking off tonight, the first said thumbnail will feature South Carolina and Vanderbilt.

Here’s our quickie take:

 

South Carolina at Vanderbilt

7:00pm ET on ESPN

Opening Line:  USC -8

Current Line:  USC -6.5

Storylines:  Come on, it’s the SEC opener for both teams.  But if you’re looking for something more, there are two questions we’ll start to see answered tonight.  Fresh off its first-ever 11-win season, is South Carolina ready to another step forward and legitimately compete for a BCS championship?  And James Franklin’s done great work at Vandy in a short time, but will the Dores take a step backward since they won’t be sneaking up on anyone in 2012?

Keys for South Carolina:  Bring the heat to Vandy quarterback Jordan Rodgers and protect a thin secondary.  Lean on — but make sure not to overuse — tailback Marcus Lattimore who’s returning from major knee surgery.

Keys for Vanderbilt:  Simple.  Force turnovers and convert on third downs.  The Commodores need to keep the ball in their possession when they have it… and steal possessions — and create short fields for their offense — when the Gamecocks have it.

Pick:  South Carolina 27, Vanderbilt 17

 


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