Thursday, September 4, 2008
South Carolina-Vanderbilt Open SEC Play
South Carolina @ Vanderbilt
Thur 8:30 ET ESPN
Line: SC -9.5
Both teams won their season openers convincingly last Thursday night. South Carolina will look to avenge a 17-6 loss in Columbia last season which began their five game slide to end the season.
Keys to the Game
1. Put South Carolina QB in Tough Spots
Last year, Vandy sacked South Carolina QB Chris Smelley 7 times and picked off 2 of his passes. South Carolina does not look like they have solved their interception woes as starter Tommy Beecher threw 4 picks last week against NC State. Vanderbilt needs a good pass rush and good coverage like they had last year to win this game. South Carolina needs to counter the Vandy rush with a solid running game from Mike Davis to slow the Vandy pass rush.
2. Make Chris Nickson One-Dimensional
Nickson was the on again, off again starter last season and secured the job for the first game this season responding with over 100 yards rushing, 2 rush TDs, and a pass TD. If Nickson is made into more of a one-dimensional QB he will not be nearly as successful because he could not even nail down the starting job last season. It should be easier to slow down his rushing ability with a spy and less blitzing and make him beat you with the pass. Vandy needs to come with a ground game from their backs to keep Carolina's front seven honest.
I know South Carolina has more talent than Vanderbilt. But I also know the Commodores are a very tough team at home in SEC play. I think South Carolina will struggle again on offense and their defense will bail them out of a tight game in the 4th quarter.
South Carolina 20 Vanderbilt 13
Vandy Covers, Under
Week 1 Results
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