As the South Carolina Gamecocks head to Nashville this weekend to take on Vanderbilt, the defense will be under the microscope. Getting manhandled by Georgia was not the best way to invoke confidence in the Gamecock fan base.
One only has to look to last year to see just how good the defense will need to play in order to pull out a win. Vanderbilt absolutely torched the South Carolina defense as Kyle Shurmur threw the ball all over Williams-Brice Stadium.
Anytime you let an opposing quarterback throw for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns, it puts the game at risk. Shurmur even posted an extremely high QBR of 74.8 against the South Carolina defense last season.
In Vanderbilt’s three games this season, Shurmur has played very well. His great quarterback play almost led to a win in South Bend against the Norte Dame Fighting Irish last week.
Player to watch
So who should you keep your eye on for Gamecocks’ defense this Saturday? Junior Linebacker T.J. Brunson.
Brunson leads the Gamecocks with eleven tackles so far this season. He is the player to watch versus the Commodores. He has been a disrupting force for South Carolina so far this season. Hopefully the other defensive players for South Carolina will follow his lead and disrupt the, so far potent, Vanderbilt offense.
It is fairly safe to say that if Kyle Shurmur has the type of game Saturday that he did last season against the Gamecocks, there may be many upset South Carolina fans on Saturday night.
It is important to remember that while the scores have been close, South Carolina has not lost to Vanderbilt since 2008. For the Gamecock faithful, we all hope the winning streak continues. Let’s all hope that South Carolina does not take the Commodores lightly. It would be a huge mistake, and one that could cost the Gamecocks another loss in the SEC East.