The Gamecocks got things started early after Shi Smith scored on a TD pass from Jake Bentley less than a minute into the game. It took just three plays for them to find the end zone, and it was off to the races from there. Vandy wouldn’t go away too quietly though as they closed the gap at the start of the 2nd quarter.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn scored to make it 10-7, but SC answered right back. Rico Dowdle put it in the end zone to make it 17-7. But again, Vandy would answer right back. This time, Kalija Lipscomb would get in the end zone on a two-yard pass from Kyle Shurmur.
But as you can see from the final score, these would be the last points they would score. South Carolina put up 20 unanswered the rest of the way. Their TDs came off 1-yard runs from Mon Denson and Ty’Son Williams. They put the clamps down on the Commodore offense and kept them stifled for the entirety of the 2nd half and the rest of quarter #2.
Dowdle was effective when called upon. He ran for 112 yards, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He scored one of the three rushing TDs that the Gamecocks put up, showcasing their diversified talent at the position.
Deebo Samuel, meanwhile, had 56 yards receiving on a game-high seven catches. But it was Shi Smith who led the way in receiving yards. Smith had 119 yards and needed only five catches to do so. That’s good for an astounding 23.8 yards per reception. Pretty, pretty good. Four other players, including Dowdle, tight ends K.C. Crosby and Kiel Pollard, as well as Bryan Edwards, caught at least one pass.
The victory puts SC even at 1-1 on the year in SEC play while Vanderbilt drops to 0-1. The Gamecocks will face undefeated the Kentucky Wildcats in their next meeting, while Vanderbilt faces Tennessee State.