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South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt: Roundtable Predictions

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Hope reigns for Homecoming.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Vanderbilt Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks get possibly their best crack at another win this season when they welcome the Vanderbilt Commodores to town this weekend, another struggling program that’s sharing the bottom of the SEC East with USC. For the first time since the season opener against Eastern Illinois, the Gamecocks are prohibitive favorites in this matchup. Here’s how the GABA gang is feeling about this chance for a breather before a much stiffer opponent in Texas A&M awaits.

Kody: Vegas usually seems to know what it’s talking about, and man do I really hope that’s the case here. The Gamecocks are hurting for an honest-to-god blowout against a team they’re supposed to beat, unlike what we saw when they scraped by East Carolina and Troy. Vanderbilt is woeful, to say the least, and it’ll be concerning indeed if South Carolina can’t put up some fireworks against this squad. We’ve also played some weird, low-scoring, and otherwise ugly games against Vandy in recent years, so it’s hard to make a full-throated call for a dominant performance in this one. But to be clear, I’m not worried about the Gamecocks taking an L; I just want to see some improvement heading into what will be a tough one against A&M, and some signs that the USC staff knows what it’s trying to accomplish here instead of just throwing a bunch of concepts at the wall and hoping something sticks. I think the Gamecocks have a good chance at hitting their highest point total of the season thus far, so I’ll go with something like 35-10.

Katie: Okay okay, my prediction for a win cannot be wrong this week, I simply refuse to accept that outcome. Vandy is, bless their collective heart, Vandy, and I will also be at this game, so a win is a must. I haven’t seen South Carolina lose in person since 2009 - that streak CANNOT end now. This is a matchup the Gamecocks could and should and better win, so let’s do that and start the second half of the season off on a high note, because even this Eternal Sports Optimist knows the remaining schedule is, uh, not entirely promising when it comes to our record this season.

Matt: We have finally approached the yearly “auto-dub” for the Gamecocks. I wholeheartedly agree with the spread in that the game *should* be a blowout, but we never really know with this squad, do we? The goal here shouldn’t be to win because that is, hopefully, a given; it should be to dominate and show the Gamecocks belong somewhere above the bottom of the SEC. I’ve said this before the games against Eastern Illinois, East Carolina and Troy, but if USC drops this one, it will be time to hit the panic button. This should be a confidence builder for the offense, not a struggle. As for the defense, that unit has matched up against much fiercer foes than the Commodores. If the Vanderbilt offense scores more than 10, I will be shocked and a bit disappointed. The fans deserve to have some short-term happiness before Texas A&M, and I believe South Carolina will supply it. Give me the Gamecocks by the score of 30-9.