Gamecocks Coming to Town

Commodores welcome South Carolina and look for first win

Vanderbilt Commodores (0-2)
South Carolina (0-2)
In-Game Notes

Oct. 10, 2020 • 11 a.m. CT
Vanderbilt Stadium • Nashville, Tenn.

SEC Network
Dave Neal (play-by-play), DJ Shockley (analyst),
Dawn Davenport (sideline)

WQZQ 830 AM • 93.3 FM
Joe Fisher (play-by-play), Norman Jordan (analyst),
Kevin Ingram (sideline)

• Playing at home for the second straight week, Vanderbilt hosts South Carolina on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT at Vanderbilt Stadium with live television coverage on SEC Network.

• Saturday’s game marks the 30th in the series with the Gamecocks. The Commodores have faced South Carolina annually since 1992 when the Gamecocks joined the SEC. Vanderbilt’s last win against South Carolina came in 2008 when the Commodores used touchdown runs by quarterback Chris Nickson and running back Jared Hawkins to build a 24-10 lead en route to a 24-17 home victory over the 24th-ranked Gamecocks.

• The contest Saturday has been designated to raise awareness in the fight against racial injustice and social inequalities. Throughout the week, student-athletes and alumni will be sharing perspectives on what they are doing to enact change in our communities.

• Nine Vanderbilt student-athletes have earned their first collegiate starts this season: Amir Abdur-Rahman (Jr., WR), Justin Ball (So., TE), Justin Harris (So., S), Jayden Harrison (So., WR), Donovan Kaufman (Fr., S), Ja’Veon Marlow (Jr., RB), Anfernee Orji (So., ILB), Alston Orji (Jr., ILB) and Ken Seals (Fr., QB). Two others have been first-time starters in a Vanderbilt uniform: Connor Mignone (5th, RT) and Raashaan Wilkins Jr. (Jr., DT).

Ken Seals became just the third Southeastern Conference true freshman quarterback to start a season opener, and the first to do so in a true road game when he took the field at Texas A&M on Sept. 26. Seals, a January enrollee, has thrown for 263 yards this season, the ninth most by a freshman quarterback nationally. Within the SEC, Seals stands 14th in passing yards and second among the league’s freshmen.

• Seals’ first two games have been against top-20 opponents. He is the fourth true freshman since 2012 to make his first two starts against top-20 foes, and the first since Tanner Mangum of BYU did so in 2015 against No. 20 Boise State (Sept. 12) and No. 10 UCLA (Sept. 19).

• Seals stands 18th nationally in passing yards against ranked opponents (263). He is 23 yards shy of Missouri’s Connor Bazelak, who stands 15th and leads all rookie quarterbacks in yards versus ranked foes.

• Junior running back Ja’Veon Marlow has rushed for 148 yards in the first two games. He tallied a career-high 17 rushes for a personal-best 83 yards against No. 20/17 LSU. Marlow, who tallied 42 total ground yards in 2019, ranks fourth nationally in total rushing yards against ranked opponents.

• Preseason All-SEC defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo turned in a team-high 2.0 tackles for loss at Texas A&M and added 1.0 sack. He enters the South Carolina game tied for 12th in the SEC in tackles for loss in 2020.

• The Commodores recovered three fumbles at Texas A&M, the most in a game since jumping on three at No. 10 Florida on Nov. 7, 2015. Vanderbilt, tied for sixth nationally in fumbles recovered, had five in all of 2019.

• Vanderbilt’s scoring defense has greatly improved through two contests against ranked teams, holding a pair of top-20 foes to 58 points, an average of 29.0 points/game. A season ago, Vanderbilt gave up an average of 50.7 points per game to ranked opponents.

• Vanderbilt chose seven team captains for the 2020 campaign: Odeyingbo, Mintze, junior wide receiver Cam Johnson, junior defensive back Camden Coleman, cornerback Elijah Hamilton, center Grant Miller and punter Harrison Smith.

Derek Mason is one of just two Vanderbilt head coaches to lead the Commodores to multiple postseason bowl appearances (2016 Independence Bowl; 2018 Texas Bowl).

• Mason’s staff has a different look in 2020 with six new assistant coaches: Tony Ball (wide receivers), Todd Fitch (offensive coordinator), Aaron Henry (cornerbacks), Ted Roof (defensive coordinator), Pete Rossomando (offensive line) and Kenechi Udeze (linebackers).