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South Carolina grinds out a victory over Vanderbilt

Connor Shaw;Johnell Thomas AP

South Carolina took one small step toward winning the SEC East and earning a trip back to Atlanta Thursday night with a tougher-than-expected win over an upset-minded Vanderbilt.

And, hey, a decent crowd showed up too.

What fans saw was mistake-prone football synonymous with the first game of the season. Neither Vandy nor the ninth-ranked Gamecocks could pass the ball, and it didn’t help that quarterback Connor Shaw (pictured) was nursing a bruised throwing shoulder half the night.

Shaw finished 7-of-11 for 67 yards and an interception. Not exactly numbers Steve Spurrier wants to see. About the only thing Shaw threw effectively was caution to the wind as he ran — recklessly, you could argue with that shoulder — 14 times for 92 yards. Marcus Lattimore, back from an ACL injury, tacked on 109 yards and two touchdowns.

It wasn’t pretty — but dang there were some grown up hits, y’all — but the Gamecocks squeezed out a 17-13 win over Vanderbilt*.

You have to give the Commodores credit for battling back after an early 10-0 deficit, and Vandy’s undersized offensive line was even able to keep South Carolina’s d-line, and Jadeveon Clowney, under control for part of the night. James Franklin has been preaching over and over that this isn’t the “same old Vanderbilt.”

Attitude-wise? Not in the least. There’s a new fire with this program that just hasn’t been there before. Performance-wise? There’s nothing “new” about Vandy yet. The Commodores weren’t able to capitalize on two early turnovers and good field position (when they had it).

Until the ‘Dores get that statement win, the corner can’t be considered turned.

(*Yes, there was a missed pass interference call; no, it’s not the story of the game. It was a close game, you can magnify a dozen things that could have gone differently.) 

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16 Responses to “South Carolina grinds out a victory over Vanderbilt”
  1. clemsonstillsucks says: Aug 30, 2012 10:36 PM

    Congrats to the Cocks on the win against a Vandy team that should look vaguely familiar to Spurrier (flashback to 2010). Franklin’s ‘Dores played a great game and has nothing to apologize for in their play this evening. An ugly game played by two teams trying to perform to pre-season expectations.

  2. goodfieldnohit says: Aug 30, 2012 10:51 PM

    At the end of the game, there was blatant pass interference on SC. If you don’t throw the flag on that play, you should do away with the penalty altogether.

    The fix was in. The zebras weren’t going to let South Carolina lose this game.

  3. taintedlombardis says: Aug 30, 2012 10:51 PM

    Crooked SEC officials swallowing their whistles on the obvious pass interference that cost Vandy a very legitimate shot. That is the story of this game…

  4. clemsonstillsucks says: Aug 30, 2012 10:58 PM

    Yeah, y’all are probably right. All the decent officials are scabbing in the NFL anyways. The more I think about it, the more I tend to agree that the first prime time college football game of the season would be the perfect time to bribe an official (!)

    By the way…Hogwarts isn’t a real school either.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Aug 30, 2012 11:19 PM

    Good game. Finally it’s football season!

  6. irishdodger says: Aug 30, 2012 11:21 PM

    While Vandy was better last year than they are traditionally, they’re still not very good. They only have to win two conference games to be bowl eligible b/c they can schedule four non-conference wins. USC my be pre-season ranked #9, but they have a long way to go (based on tonight) to be a true top ten team,

  7. ghengy says: Aug 31, 2012 1:55 AM

    Shaddup Irish, WTF do you know about SEC football?

    Vandy got screwed tonite. They showed up and played a great game. I tried to tell everybody, nobody would listen. And to show you how petty the Tennessee boards are, I got banned tonite for predicting Vandy would cover, which they did. Friggin arseholes! LOL

  8. thraiderskin says: Aug 31, 2012 1:56 AM

    I learned only one thing from that game… Vandy doesn’t have the cred to get an obvious whistle.

  9. wabbitslayer says: Aug 31, 2012 5:46 AM

    Always known the SEC was the closest thing in college ball to the NFL, but I didn’t realize they were using replacement refs, too.
    So what was the ref watching, b/c it sure wasn’t the play???

    Only question is whether it was gross incompetence or just outright bias. Not a fan of either program, but Vandy got robbed.

  10. mauldawg says: Aug 31, 2012 6:08 AM

    Vandy got screwed by the refs.The SEC was not going to let SC lose this game.The crew should not be allow back on the field for 5 games.If a player cheats or breaks the rules they are punished.(unless you plat QB for SC).Vandy won this game,except for crooked SEC refs.No one will look at the game tapes and make the right call.This set of refs are a joke.

  11. tmac4454 says: Aug 31, 2012 8:55 AM

    I am not a fan of neither team, but it was a decent game. I just wished the ref would not have blown the interference call. I would have love to visioned how that would have played out.
    I believe Lattimore is nervous of that knee at this point. As weeks goes on, he will back to form if he gains his confidence.
    Conner Shaw showed heart even though his front line outweighed Vandy’s D Line.

  12. florida727 says: Aug 31, 2012 8:59 AM

    I know the story of the game is the pass interference penalty play, but man, give some props to Connor Shaw. Talk about “manning up”. I spent part of the 2nd half waiting for his arm to fall off like one of the zombies in Michael Jackson’s old “Thriller” video. Anybody that questions that kid’s toughness doesn’t know much about sports. Best of all, college football is off and running!

  13. pandebailey says: Aug 31, 2012 9:22 AM

    Yeah, we all know that terrible non-call was the story of the game, but apparently Ben Kercheval watched a different game. His game was the start of a great season by SC?

    How do you write a game story that doesn’t include that blown call except as a cute little footnote? The call wasn’t just incredibly bad, it was the difference in the game.

    Great play by Rogers, wide open receiver, pass on target, a 360 windmill hack well before the ball arrived……and no call.
    And no story?

  14. gatiger says: Aug 31, 2012 9:59 AM

    @mauldawg: I’m pretty sure that ALL games are reviewed and that the officials have to grade out very high to remained…..officials.

    As much as I dislike South Carolina, I really doubt there was a conscious effort to screw Vandy and make sure Carolina won.

    On a different note, learned NOT to check in on CFT before watching my recorded football game. Headline kind of gave the outcome away.

    Last thing I want to do is watch a pretty poorly played game when I know that Carolina doesn’t lose.

  15. kozbee says: Aug 31, 2012 11:27 AM

    Carolina keeps this up they just might win the EAST conference.IMO the ref saved the day for USC, it was a Vandy win.JMHO..

  16. gatiger says: Aug 31, 2012 12:10 PM

    Remember when you played backyard ball. Football, basketball, baseball, whatever. And everyone called their own games. They were usually pretty fair, you knew when there was a hard foul or you were out at first.

    Maybe we should take all the refs off the field and let em just play and call their own game.

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