Josh Kendall

Vanderbilt quarterback Shurmur’s smarts worry Gamecocks

USC-Vanderbilt preview: How much do we know about the Gamecocks?

The State's Ben Breiner and Josh Kendall preview the South Carolina football team's road game at Vanderbilt.
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The State's Ben Breiner and Josh Kendall preview the South Carolina football team's road game at Vanderbilt.

South Carolina will face Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur for the last time Saturday, and the Gamecocks won’t be sad to see him go. Shurmur, a three-year starter for the Commodores, is not the flashiest quarterback in the conference but draws consistent praise from opponents.

“He just knows where to take the ball,” head coach Will Muschamp said. “If it’s middle field split safety, he knows when the ball’s snapped.”

Shurmur, who is the son of New York Giants head coach Pat Shurmur, is Vanderbilt’s third all-time leading passer behind Jay Cutler and Greg Zolman. This year, he’s fifth in the league in passing with 251.3 yards per game, five touchdowns and one interception.

“We’re not going to show him anything he hasn’t seen,” Muschamp said. “Kyle’s an experienced player, and he understands the game. He takes the ball to the right spots. He’s going to complete some passes, we just can’t let him have explosive plays.”

Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley has worked with Shurmur the last two summers at the Manning Passing Academy.

“When you talk to him about football it jumps out — he’s super intelligent, coach’s kid, just really smart, knows everything about football,” Bentley said. “He goes to Vandy, must be pretty smart. He’s a great dude, too. Real down to earth guy who just likes to play football.”

Shurmur’s intelligence comes through on game film, Gamecocks defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw said.

“He makes a lot of checks and things like that,” Kinlaw said. “He will change a lot of things. He’s looking around, making calls, pointing. You can tell he’s a very intelligent guy. He knows his game.”

South Carolina will try to disguise before the snap more and hold that disguise longer than normal against Shurmur to avoid being burned by his changes, Muschamp said.

“You have to have really good eye control discipline,” Muschamp said.

The University of South Carolina Gamecocks face Vanderbuilt for their first road game of the 2018 season.

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