South Carolina hosts Vanderbilt on Saturday for homecoming, Shawn Elliott’s debut as head coach and the Gamecocks’ final game before their open week.
▪ Who: South Carolina (2-4, 0-4 SEC) vs. Vanderbilt (2-3, 0-3)
▪ When: 4 p.m. Saturday
▪ Where: Williams-Brice Stadium
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▪ TV: SEC Network (Dave Neal, play-by-play; Matt Stinchcomb, analysis; Kayce Smith, sideline)
▪ Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline)
▪ Satellite radio: Sirius 83/XM 190
▪ Line: USC by 2 1/2
▪ Weather: Sunny, with a high near 68.
Power in Pink
Saturday is USC’s annual “Power in Pink” game to promote the fight against breast cancer. Players can wear a variety of pink gear.
A special Gamecock Walk
South Carolina’s football lettermen are invited to be part of the Gamecock Walk through Gamecock Park. The walk begins at approximately 1:45 p.m. Saturday.
The South Carolina women’s basketball team will be in Gamecock Village at 2 p.m. Saturday to sign autographs.
So long, Spurrier promo
Steve Spurrier’s long-running “It’s time for Carolina football” video promo will no longer precede South Carolina’s “2001” entrance. Spurrier remains part of the video shown during the build-up to the “2001” entrance, as that video combines the past and the present.
ESPN is in town
ESPN will broadcast live from South Carolina’s Horseshoe when “SportsCenter on the Road” visits for a live show airing 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday. The event is free and open to the public Saturday morning. USC students, alumni and fans should wear garnet, bring white rally towels, arrive at the Horseshoe starting at 5:45 a.m. and be in place by 6:30 a.m. Overnight camping on the Horseshoe will not be permitted.
Five gameday storylines
1. What now?
Steve Spurrier is gone. Will that make a difference? Shawn Elliott probably connects a bit better and may run at least a more communicable offense, but it’s still the same talent that has notched a 2-4 record. Players won’t check out due to early rumors of retirement, but will they if they struggle under Elliott like they did under Spurrier?
2. Under pressure under center
Lorenzo Nunez should start if he’s healthy, since his style works with Elliott and G.A Mangus’ coaching. If he’s not healthy, the Gamecocks will have to lean on Perry Orth (Orth is expected to start). Where does Connor Mitch, who returned to practice Tuesday, fit in?
3. Full box
Vanderbilt is really strong on defense and not great on offense. The Gamecocks are bad at each, but it’s a home game. If they can just get ahead early, perhaps a crowd anxious for a win and cheering for Elliott will give the team enough juice to stay ahead.
4. What does he throw?
Shawn Elliott is usually bareheaded on gameday. What will he chuck beside the headset if he feels the need to?
5. Fresh start
It doesn’t look promising and the talent is what it is, but Elliott’s message all week has been that the team is 0-0. Realistically, the season probably won’t get that much better. Mathematically, it’s still possible.
18.4/20.7: Amount of points Vanderbilt allows per game/amount of points South Carolina scores per game.
5/0: Number of wins as a head coach for Vanderbilt’s Derek Mason/number of wins as a head coach for USC’s Shawn Elliott.
33: Rounded-up percentage of USC’s total offense for which Lorenzo Nunez is responsible.
0-6: Combined SEC win totals of the two teams.
12: Years since the Gamecocks have had a losing season. Three more losses clinches one.
Vanderbilt players to watch
1. Sophomore quarterback Johnny McCrary is averaging 250 passing yards per game. He’ll face a South Carolina defense that has had its share of troubles stopping the pass.
2. Sophomore running back Ralph Webb is on pace to rush for more than 1,000 yards this season after setting a Vandy freshman record with 907 yards last season.
3. Sophomore linebacker Zach Cunningham leads the Commodores in tackles with 35. He’s tied for the team lead in tackles for loss with four and has also forced a fumble.
The South Carolina State Fair is in town, so that means more traffic delays than usual for a gameday. The fair opens at 10 a.m. Fans with an unused football ticket can enter the fair for free until 3 p.m. There is no free fair entry following the football game. A few things to know about parking:
-- Gamecock Club reserved parking in the State Fairgrounds will not be honored Saturday. The Fairgrounds parking lot, which will open at 9:30 a.m., will cost $5 per vehicle with spots available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Gates 6 and 10 are entrances only and Gates 7, 8 and 9 are exits only. No tents and chairs are allowed, and drive area must be kept free of obstructions, although tailgating out of the trunk of the vehicle is permissible.
-- Gamecock Park will open at 10 a.m. and will have 200 gameday parking spaces available for $40 on a cash-only basis. Those wishing to park in this area should enter off National Guard Road.
-- Armory and East Stadium Lots A, B, C and D will open at 11 am.
-- The Capital City Stadium lot will open at 2 pm on Friday for RV parking, then again at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Game time is set for 4 p.m. between the Gamecocks (2-4, 0-4 SEC) and the Vanderbilt Commodores (2-3, 0-2 SEC). The game will be televised on the SEC Network with Dave Neal and Matt Stinchcomb in the booth and Kayce Smith on the sidelines.
South Carolina depth chart
WR – BELTON (Neal, Jeffery)
WR – P. COOPER (Hurst)
WR – GOOGER (Heard)
LT – SHELL (Pellage)
LG – MATULIS (Park)
C – KNOTT (Bailey, Stadnik)
RG – SPORT (Stanley)
RT – ZANDI (Camper)
TE – ADAMS (August, Markway)
QB – ORTH (Mitch, Nunez, Scarnecchia)
FB – BEDENBAUGH
TB – WILDS or WILLIAMS (Carson, Talley)
DE – D. JOHNSON (Whitlow, English)
DT – SAWYER (Stallworth, Griffin)
NT – DIXON JR. (Dukes, Lamin)
DE – LEWIS (Dixon, C. Cooper)
MLB – HOLLOMAN (Allen-Williams)
WLB – MOORE (Hawkins)
SLB – WALTON (Bryant)
SPUR – GURLEY (Sasser)
LCB – HARRIS (Lammons)
FS – I. JOHNSON (Moody)
SS – DIGGS (D. Smith)
RCB – MCWILLIAMS (Fenton, J. Smith)
KO – ARD (Fry)
PK – FRY (Ard)
P – KELLY (Almond)
KR – FENTON (Talley)
PR – P. COOPER
SN – DR. WILLIAMS (McGriff)
H – KELLY (Ard)