Josh Kendall

How will South Carolina’s unexpected bye week affect season?

Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks host Georgia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS.
Will Muschamp and the Gamecocks host Georgia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday on CBS. The State

South Carolina got an unexpected open date last week thanks to Hurricane Florence. Whether the Gamecocks appreciate the time off will depend on how they play Saturday against Vanderbilt.

While South Carolina was taking Saturday off, the Commodores were putting a scare into No. 8 Notre Dame. Vanderbilt outgained the Irish 420 yards to 380 yards in a 22-17 loss that made it look like the SEC East might have another surprise team in it.

Vanderbilt (2-1) will be looking to snap a nine-game losing streak to South Carolina. The Gamecocks, meanwhile, will just be looking to get their feet under them. The last time South Carolina took the field they were thumped 41-17 by No. 2 Georgia, and its players have been eager to get back on the field ever since.

Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp said his team had a very good practice Thursday morning after learning of the Marshall game’s cancellation due to then-Hurricane Florence. South Carolina was scheduled to practice again Sunday night to begin its normal game week preparation.

The last time the Gamecocks had an open week during September was in 2001 when Sept. 15 games around the country were canceled following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

South Carolina would have benefited from one more warmup game prior to jumping into seven consecutive SEC games. We’ve yet to see exactly who the Gamecocks are this year. They beat an overmatched Coastal Carolina team 49-15 in Week 1 and then were overmatched by the Bulldogs in Week 2. How good is South Carolina? We still don’t know.

How good are the Commodores? Better than we thought based on last week’s game against Notre Dame.