David Cloninger

September 13, 2013

Cloninger's five gameday storylines: USC vs. Vanderbilt

David Cloninger takes one last look at five storylines surrounding Saturday's game between South Carolina and Georgia, including help for Jadeveon Clowney and how tough the Commodores play the Gamecocks.

David Cloninger

All things Gamecocks, especially basketball and football


Mike Davis says he wouldn’t mind getting the ball more and while USC’s offense has been fine the first two games, its defense, especially after last week, needs a serious adjustment. Best way to do that is to give it time to rest. How to do that? Grind clock. Davis running the ball 25-30 times could definitely burn seconds, unless he does something like rip off another 75-yard run. Of course, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.


Batman couldn’t do it all himself. Occasionally, Robin had to step in. So with Jadeveon Clowney doing everything he can but plays being run away from him, his sidekicks have got to start playing their games. Chaz Sutton does lead the Gamecocks with 2.5 tackles for loss, but has been rather quiet otherwise. This was supposed to be his chance to don the bigger cape.


Vanderbilt has been a win for the past four years, but a tough out for the past six. USC lost the two games before the current winning streak, but in the past six, the Gamecocks have not scored more than 21 points. Who knows which Vanderbilt will show up? The one that allowed 39 points to Ole Miss, or the one that held Austin Peay to three points?


Vandy receiver Jordan Matthews has probably watched the tape of the USC-Georgia game and gleefully cackled. It’s a good point – if USC’s secondary was giving 10 yards of cushion to Georgia so Aaron Murray could burn them time after time with a 10-yard slant, think what Matthews could do. He’s the best receiver in the SEC not named Amari Cooper for a reason, you know.


X’s and O’s aside, can USC shelve the disappointment of the Georgia game in order to beat Vanderbilt, and then carry it through the rest of the season? While a trip to Atlanta is probably out of the question, the only way for USC to play is if a miracle could happen. If it doesn’t, the Gamecocks could still finish with a 12-1 mark. Time to find out what each player is made of.

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