The Point After

Zac Ellis: Inside the Commodores Zac Ellis

The Point After: South Carolina

Gamecocks hand Commodores first SEC loss of season

NASHVILLE – Vanderbilt rallied from an early double-digit deficit, but South Carolina was too strong in the second half in handing the Commodores a 37-14 loss on Saturday at Vanderbilt Stadium.
 
Here's how it went down:
 
WHAT HAPPENED: South Carolina shot out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter before Vanderbilt found life on a turnover. Dare Odeyingbo picked off a Jake Bentley pass, and the Commodores turned that miscue into a Ke'Shawn Vaughn touchdown to make it 10-7. Vanderbilt trailed 17-14 with less than a minute until half before the Gamecocks knocked in a field goal for a 20-14 halftime lead. But that momentum stalled in the second half, when South Carolina added another 17 points while keeping Vanderbilt off the scoreboard the rest of the night.
 
TURNING POINT: Vanderbilt trailed 23-14 with 4:36 left in the third quarter when South Carolina's Javon Kinlaw sacked Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur. The sack forced a Shurmur fumble, which Carolina's Aaron Sterling recovered and returned to the 6-yard line. That set up another Gamecock touchdown to push their lead to 30-14.
 
HELMET STICKERS
RB Jamauri Wakefield
The sophomore was Vanderbilt's most consistent runner against the Gamecocks. He ran 14 times for 72 yards to average 5.1 yards per carry.
 
DL Dare Odeyingbo
The senior defensive lineman forced two South Carolina turnovers with his interception at the end of the first quarter and fumble recovery at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter.
 
P Parker Thome
Thome did his part in protecting field position against South Carolina. Four of his six punts went for 50 yards or more on Saturday, including a season-high 57 on one kick.
 
GIVE ME THE NUMBERS
534
Yards of offense recorded by South Carolina. The Gamecocks put up a balanced performance against Vanderbilt with 261 yards through the air and 273 on the ground. In all, South Carolina averaged 5.7 yards per play on Saturday.
 
2
Turnovers by quarterback Kyle Shurmur. The senior was picked off on an overthrown pass in the first quarter, and he fumbled on a sack in the third quarter that led to a South Carolina touchdown.
 
17
South Carolina points after halftime. Vanderbilt entered the week having allowed just six total points in the second half this season. But the Gamecocks tacked on two touchdowns and a field goal after intermission to pull away on Saturday.
 
WORTH NOTING: Despite the loss, Vanderbilt won the turnover battles by forcing three South Carolina turnovers against just two of its own miscues.
 
WHAT'S NEXT: Vanderbilt welcomes Tennessee State to Vanderbilt Stadium next Saturday, Sept. 29. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT.
 
Zac Ellis is the Writer and Digital Media Editor for Vanderbilt Athletics.
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