The Daily Gamecock

Preview: Gamecock offense looks to rebound against Vanderbilt

South Carolina’s offense will attempt to bounce back from last week’s 23-10 home loss against Missouri in a road matchup with the Vanderbilt Commodores this Saturday.

The Gamecocks have dominated the Commodores in recent years — the team currently holds a 13-game win streak that dates back to 2009. Last season, South Carolina captured a narrow 21-20 victory at home.

Vanderbilt enters the game fresh off of a bye week and without an SEC win. In its last game, the Commodores lost a close 17-14 game to the same Missouri Tigers that beat South Carolina the following week. 

The Gamecocks offense said it will look to improve on what was a poor outing against the Tigers, though Beamer made it clear he thinks the team does not need to make any drastic changes, just improve on what they are already doing. 

“If I felt like changing the role of a coach on our staff, offense, defense or special teams, was the right thing to do right now, I would,” Beamer said. “The thing that gives us the best chance to be successful is to continue to try and get better at where we are right now.”

South Carolina rushed for a season-low 32 yards against the Tigers. The Gamecocks are 1-3 in games when rushing for less than 100 yards. 

One reason for the struggles was an injury to redshirt junior running back MarShawn Lloyd. Lloyd was injured early in the Missouri game and played on a limited basis for the rest of the game. Without his help in the run game, the team has struggled on offense. 

“Honestly, it was a great tackle from the Mizzou guy,” Lloyd said. “He hit right on my thigh. I got one in the Kentucky game as well. I was able to finish the game that game, but Mizzou obviously I wasn’t able to finish the game. The game would’ve been a lot different if I was able to finish the game.”

Despite being banged up, Lloyd said he is confident he’ll be ready this weekend. 

“It’s actually getting there, definitely getting there. It’s gotten a lot better since the game,” Lloyd said. “The goal is Saturday. We’ve been doing pretty good so far, and everything's been working out. It’s just a minor, nothing major.” 

Getting Lloyd the ball early and often will be crucial to the Gamecocks' chances of getting a win. The team is 4-0 in games where Lloyd has over 50 yards and 5-0 in games where he gets more than 10 carries. In all three of the team’s losses, Lloyd recorded less than 10 carries. 

The remaining schedule will be a challenge for the Gamecocks. The team will travel to play Florida next week and end the season against a pair of top-10 teams: Tennessee and Clemson. The offense will need to execute down the stretch to finish the year off strong. 

“We're 5-3, you know what I’m saying. You look at it, we could be 1-7, or we could be 2-6. I mean we’re 5-3,” sixth-year offensive linemen Eric Douglas said. “Just keep building on. Coach Beamer says it all the time, 'You're not looking in the rearview mirror, you’re always looking forward.'”

The game between the Gamecocks and Commodores will start at 7:30 p.m. and will air on the SEC Network. 


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