The Vanderbilt Commodores (3-5, 0-5 SEC) dropped their fifth straight game Saturday in Columbia, by a final score of 34-27 to the Gamecocks.
Although Derek Mason’s Commodore defense looked somewhat better in stretches coming off a bye week, the Commodores still surrendered 212 rush yards led by Running Back A.J Turner’s 121 yards on 15 carries.
Andy Ludwig experienced success offensively with a quick hitting passing attack as Sophomore Kalija Lipscomb led the ‘Dores with 128 yards on 7 catches, along with a touchdown. Seniors C.J. Duncan (80 rec. yards), Trent Sherfield (59 rec. yds.), and Caleb Scott (32 rec. yds.) added to the air attack alongside Lipscomb.
Dallas Rivers filled in nicely for Ralph Webb and Khari Blasingame in the second half as both were hampered with injury throughout – Blasingame only received one carry in the second half while Webb was sidelined the entire half.
The Gamecocks (6-2, 4-2 SEC) picked up their eighth straight victory over the Commodores on Saturday.
Vanderbilt was involved in controversial targeting penalties on Saturday, Derek Mason offered his response.
- Vanderbilt’s Struggles at Inside Linebacker: The Commodores possess rangy athletes such as Oren Burks throughout much of the inside linebacker unit., but lack physicality and physical size to match up with power run teams such as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina considering the loss of All-American Zach Cunningham.
- Vanderbilt’s Offense is Not an Issue: Kyle Shurmur is arguably the SEC’s most improved player in 2017, as teammates Duncan, Scott, Sherfield, and Lipscomb give Vanderbilt proven offensive weapons alongside Ralph Webb. Shurmur has 18 total touchdowns, and just 3 interceptions, the best ratio in the conference. The Commodore offense has generated 857 yards and 62 points the past two contests.
- Finish the Season Strong: The Commodores finish the season with three home games against Western Kentucky, Kentucky, and Missouri, before a season finale on the road against Tennessee. Hold serve at home, and Vandy will be off to a second straight bowl game.
Vanderbilt returns to action on Saturday, November 4th against Western Kentucky inside Vanderbilt Stadium.
Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.