By: Madison Tucker
With the first game of the season under their belts, the Gamecocks are looking rather shaky on the field. Fumbles and pass turnovers made it seem like the Gamecocks were not having a good night on the field. Marcus Lattimore, #21, fumbled the ball early in the first quarter, but redeemed himself by scoring a 29-yard touchdown. That brought the score to 7-0 at the end of the first.
By the start of the second quarter, Gamecock fans were hopeful that things would turn around. South Carolina drove down inside the 5-yard line early, but Vanderbilt kept them at bay and out of the end zone. The big upset came when Jordan Rodgers threw a pass to Jordan Matthew, leading to a 78-yard touchdown. On Vanderbilt’s very next drive, they added a field goal to tie the game at 10-10 by half time.
Connor Shaw, #14, left the game late in the second quarter, Dylan Thompson, #17, played for Shaw until he returned later in the third. The Gamecocks had not moved the ball since the first drive in the second quarter, and had to deal with the loss of their quarterback and the replacement Thompson, who had only two career passes.
Vanderbilt played tough, and should have had the advantage over South Carolina, but they failed to take advantage of opportunities. By the start of the third quarter, South Carolina was looking rather shaky, due in no small part to the loss of their quarterback. Vanderbilt’s Jordan Rodgers completed 11 of 19 passes for 206 yards. Rodgers also led the drive that set up Corey Spear for a 44-yard field goal, putting Vanderbilt in the lead 13-10. Even with the return of Connor Shaw, the Gamecocks could not pull through.
Thankfully the fourth quarter saw a fire lit under Marcus Lattimore, when he rushed for 110 yards and delivered two touch downs for the Gamecocks. Even though Lattimore pulled through this time, he does not seem to be the same player from last season. The Gamecocks got by in this game, but luck will not be on their side all season. The Gamecocks have now won 18 of 22 matchups against Vanderbilt, and may have given us a peek at what the season holds (unless Coach Spurrier can make up for the loss of his Fitness and Wellness coach).
The upcoming game against East Carolina on Saturday, September 8 at 12 p.m. EST will be on the Gamecocks home turf. All of Gamecock nation will be looking to see if Marcus Lattimore can bring back that fire that helped to pull South Carolina through.