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CFB South Carolina at Vanderbilt

September 04, 2008

College Football Betting - (24) South Carolina Gamecocks at Vanderbilt Commodores 8:30 PM ET

Two teams that got off to their 2008 seasons on the right foot in Week 1 of the College Football season, meet Thursday night in SEC action.

The Vanderbilt Commodores host the 24th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks in the SEC opener for both squads. Both teams routed their opponents last week, but only one will walk away with a conference win and a 2-0 record.

South Carolina was off to a rough start in their opener against NC State as starting QB Tommy Beecher threw four interceptions and looked sluggish on offense. Chris Smelley was able to come in, control the ball and keep it in his team's hands.

It couldn't have gone better for the Gamecock defense last week. They held the NC State defense under 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing on their way to a shutout performance. The defense will be a key component again on Thursday against a more potent Vanderbilt offense.

The Vanderbilt Commodores did most of their damage on the ground in week one, but it didn't come from their running backs, it came from quarterback Chris Nickson, who rushed for 166 yards.

Nickson also added 91 yards through the air. Nickson accounted for 3 of the 4 touchdowns Vanderbilt scored against Miami-Ohio, so he is obviously the key to making this offense click.

Defensively Vandy was strong against the run, allowing just 96 yards. They struggled a little against the Miami-Ohio passing attack, but managed to nab three interecpetions on their way to an impressive victory.

Defense has not been traditionally strong for the Commodores, but they were impressive in their first appearance of 2008.

There's a lot to consider in this game. Both defenses looked fine in week one, but they will both be facing a more potent offense this time around.

That says a lot for the Gamecocks, who are on the road against a team coming off of an impressive win. With that being said, South Carolina is the better team overall. Their offense should hit their stride in their second game and if their defense plays even close to the way it did in their first game, we're looking at a blowout.

Game Prediction: South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 13

Play South Carolina -10 at 5Dimes.com

- Steve Janus of Sportscapping.com

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