Saturday, October 1, 2022

Vanderbilt, South Carolina meet seeking to end losing skids

COLOMBIA, South Carolina (AP) – There could be a debate this season over the best team in the Southeast Conference. After Saturday, however, there should be no doubt about who will end up at the bottom when Vanderbilt faces South Carolina.

Schools have the two longest losing streaks in the league. The Commodores (2-4, 0-2 SEC) have lost their last 15 straight games in the conference, while the Gamecocks (3-3, 0-3) have lost nine straight SEC games.

Led by freshman coaches Clark Lee of Vanderbilt and Shane Beamer of South Carolina, both programs are desperate for a record win to show players and fans that things are going in the right direction.

“I think the two teams that will fight to win on Saturday have experienced different levels of frustration,” Lee said. “But they also improve and acquire identity throughout the year.”

Right now, the identity of the two continues to fight the SEC.

Vanderbilt’s last conference win was almost two years ago, a 21-14 home win over Missouri. He lost his last four SEC games in 2019 and then went 0-9 (game canceled last December) in the season 2020, covering all SEC, COVID-19. This resulted in the school dumping Derek Mason in favor of Lee, the former Notre Dame defense coordinator.

South Carolina started 2-2 for the SEC alone in 2020, including upsetting then-Auburn at home. Shortly thereafter, the Gamecocks lost their last six games – in most cases by a significant margin.

Gamecocks coach Will Musham was fired mid-season. Beamer was hired last December.

Most of them give South Carolina an edge as it has won the last 12 games in the series since 2008, when Beamer was Gamecocks assistant coach Steve Spurrier.

Beamer made sure his players understood that they could not weaken their training simply because of past successes over the Commodores.

“This is a very good team that cannot be taken lightly, no matter what the SEC says about them,” said Nick Mewes of South Carolina.

Something else to look out for when Vanderbilt plays South Carolina:

DISCOUNTS WANDY

The Commodores have already recorded several losing streaks this season. Vanderbilt finished the 11-game total this season with a win in Colorado, also ending a 10-game losing streak. The Commodores completed an eight-game home skid by defeating UConn.

APPLE FROM APPLE

Shane Beamer will never escape his father Frank’s big football shadow. The two have been linked in a less flattering way on social media as Shane Beamer, celebrating a South Carolina touchdown, trailing Tennessee 38-7 last week, was placed next to Frank Beamer’s father’s smiling face as Virginia Tech-Wake Forest’s game ended with the score is 0-0. A friend sent a meme to the younger Beamer, who laughed. “I’m never going to celebrate when we score,” he said.

PROTECTIVE DORES

Vanderbilt played two passes in a loss to Florida, giving the Commodores consecutive games with multiple interceptions. For the first time since 2018, Vanderbilt has managed to stage more than one interception in games in a row.

OFFENSIVE FIGHT

South Carolina’s Offensive, 13th out of 14 SEC teams in points and yards scored, and Year 1’s playing position, Offensive Coordinator Marcus Satterfield, have come into question after Tennessee had an early stunt error from – for a loss 45-20. … South Carolina quarterback Luke Doty said Satterfield is making the right statements and has the team’s trust.

TURNOVER

South Carolina and Vanderbilt go in opposite directions with turns. The Gamecocks are among the SEC’s surprises this season with 12 pins, including the league’s top nine interceptions. The Commodores have flipped the ball 14 times in their five games.

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More on AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Subscribe to the AP College Football Newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25

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