Vanderbilt and South Carolina are each coming off embarrassing losses, so they will have plenty of motivation heading into this SEC clash. The Commodores are the worst team in the conference and have already been shut out by Georgia and Florida. South Carolina is coming off a blowout loss to Tennessee and is 0-3 in its SEC games.
Vanderbilt trying to find answers offensivelyVanderbilt opened the season with a 23-3 loss to FCS East Tennessee State, which really set the tone for the Commodores. They have picked up wins over Colorado State and Connecticut by a combined five points, but they have been blown out in their other three games. Their two SEC games have been against Georgia and Florida—they lost by a combined score of 104-0 in those games. The Gators led 42-0 midway through the third quarter before letting off the gas pedal last week, but it was still enough to cover the 39.5-point spread.
Vanderbilt’s offense ranks No. 121 out of 130 FBS teams, averaging 310.7 yards per game. Quarterback Ken Seals has completed 55.3% of his passes and has a 5-to-7 TD-to-INT ratio—he has also been sacked nine times. Wide receivers Chris Pierce Jr. and Will Sheppard are both over 300 receiving yards this year. Running back Rocko Griffin has 227 yards on 64 carries, averaging 3.5 yards per attempt. Remahn Davis has added 44 attempts for 211 yards and a score. They are going to face a South Carolina defense that is No. 37, allowing 330.0 yards per game.
Gamecocks coming off blowout loss to TennesseeSouth Carolina took care of business in its first two games of the season, beating Eastern Illinois and East Carolina. The Gamecocks were blown out at No. 2 Georgia in Week 3, falling in a 40-13 final. Their 16-10 loss to Kentucky the following week does not look nearly as bad now that the Wildcats are up to No. 11 in the polls. South Carolina picked up a 23-14 win against Troy two weeks ago—none of those results were particularly surprising. However, the Gamecocks had their first shocker last week. Tennessee raced out to a 38-7 lead at halftime before letting up in the second half.
The beauty here isn't just in the place, it's in the people. pic.twitter.com/RKUfBVwUf2— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) October 13, 2021
The Gamecocks were only 11.5-point underdogs, so their lack of competitiveness was surprising. Their offense has dropped to No. 111, averaging 333.5 yards per game. Sophomore quarterback Luke Doty has completed 59.5% of his passes for 733 yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line has struggled with protection, allowing 15 sacks this season. Running back Kevin Harris is averaging just 3.4 yards per carry, while Juju McDowell has rushed 41 times for 187 yards. Wide receiver Josh Vann has caught a team-high 19 passes for 355 yards and two touchdowns. They are facing a Vanderbilt defense that is No. 114, allowing 452.5 yards per game.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
This is too large of a spread for a South Carolina team that has not proven its ability to blow teams out. The only double-digit win for the Gamecocks came against an FCS team to open the season. They are now coming off their worst performance of the season, getting blown out by Tennessee last week. Vanderbilt has had two rough losses against Florida and Georgia, but it has remained competitive in its other games. This spread is just a tad inflated, so I will take a stab at Vanderbilt to stay within the number.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams are not only struggling offensively this season, but they tend to play low-scoring games when they meet up. Vanderbilt has gone under the total in 10 of its last 14 games against South Carolina. The Commodores have failed to score a single point against SEC competition this season, so I certainly want no part of the over on Saturday afternoon. South Carolina has been struggling to find consistency on the offensive side as well. The Gamecocks rely on their rushing attack, which means the clock is going to be running throughout this game. They have gone under in six of their last seven home games.