The State’s Ben Portnoy, Augusta Stone and Michael Lananna are inside Williams-Brice Stadium for Saturday’s South Carolina football game against Vanderbilt (4 p.m., SEC Network). Below were the updates from the game.
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Vanderbilt narrows Gamecocks lead after turnover
After MarShawn Lloyd fumbled the ball inside the Gamecocks’ own 14-yard line, Vanderbilt was able to string together a touchdown drive with short field.
The Commodores’ touchdown brought the game to a 14-10 South Carolina lead with less than three minutes to go before halftime.
Jordan Strachan interception gives Gamecocks good field position, South Carolina offense doesn’t capitalize
Vanderbilt had put together a six-play, 51-yard drive down to South Carolina’s 34-yard line before Jordan Strachan put an end to it.
Strachan came up with the Gamecocks’ 10th interception and ran it back to Vanderbilt’s 20-yard line. Set up with favorable field position, South Carolina immediately pushed itself back after a 10-yard holding penalty.
The Gamecocks weren’t able to find the end zone and went for a fourth down conversion, failing to gain four yards to extend the drive. South Carolina turned over on downs but maintained its 14-3 lead in the second quarter.
Jaheim Bell puts his name in USC history with TD grab
Have a day, Jaheim Bell. The Gamecocks’ tight end connected with Luke Doty for an 82-yard touchdown reception, tying for the 10th longest pass play in South Carolina football history.
South Carolina brought its lead over Vanderbilt to 14-3 with 5:07 to go in the first quarter.
— Gamecock Football (@GamecockFB) October 16, 2021
Vanderbilt scores for the first time vs SEC competition
The Commodores headed into to Columbia after being shut out in its first two Southeastern Conference contests against Georgia and Florida, but they got on the scoreboard early against South Carolina.
Vanderbilt quarterback Mike Wright, in his first collegiate start, helped the Commodores put together its longest play of the year, a 44-yard reception to Cam Johnson on third down.
After making it to the Gamecocks’ 26-yard line, Vandy was halted by the USC defense and was forced to settle for a 42-yard field goal attempt, which kicker Joseph Bulovas made after missing three field goals at Florida last week.
South Carolina gets to end zone on first drive
The Gamecocks’ offense has been less than efficient through the first half of the season, particularly with finishing drives in the end zone. Against Vanderbilt, South Carolina appeared to turn a new leaf early.
South Carolina came out with a 75-yard touchdown drive on its first possession against the Commodores, with 50 yards coming off pass plays. Quarterback Luke Doty went 6-of-7 in the Gamecocks’ first drive, which included a 25-yard connection with Josh Vann on third-and-7, which set up USC on Vanderbilt’s 2-yard line.
Doty’s pass to tight end Nick Muse put South Carolina on the board first, 7-0, with 9:49 to go in the first quarter.
Vanderbilt without starting quarterback
Commodores quarterback Ken Seals will not play against South Carolina as he recovers from a finger injury. Saturday will be the first start for Vanderbilt’s Mike Wright.
Gamecocks without a starting receiver, offensive lineman
Wide receiver Jalen Brooks and starting right tackle Dylan Wonnum are also unavailable for the Vanderbilt game, along with running back Juju McDowell.
Brooks has been South Carolina’s second-most productive wide receiver this season, hauling in 181 yards on 14 receptions. Wonnum has played in all six games at right tackle.
Todd Ellis, play-by-play voice for South Carolina, said on 107.5 The Game that the reasons for McDowell’s and Brooks’ absences were “not disclosed,” but that he “did not believe they were injuries.”
According to the depth chart, junior wide receiver Xavier Legette and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Tyshawn Wannamaker would fill in for Brooks and Wonnum. Legette has not recorded a reception but has played in four games in 2021, while Wannamaker has played in five of South Carolina’s six games.
Juju is out
South Carolina will be without a key piece in its running game Saturday. Freshman running back Juju McDowell will be “unavailable,” per an athletic department spokesperson. McDowell is the Gamecocks’ second-leading rusher of the season, totaling 187 yards on 41 attempts.
The Gamecocks are wearing black jerseys, garnet helmets and white pants against Vanderbilt.
Watch the Gamecocks
Who: Vanderbilt Commodores (2-4, 0-2 SEC) at South Carolina Gamecocks (3-3, 0-3 SEC)
When: 4 p.m. Saturday
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium (77,559) in Columbia, S.C.
TV: SEC Network