South Carolina held Vanderbilt to 189 total yards and picked off the Commodores twice Saturday night as the Gamecocks rolled to a 24-7 win in Southeastern Conference action in Columbia, S.C.
Bryan Edwards fueled the Gamecocks with 14 catches for 139 yards and caught a touchdown from quarterback Ryan Hilinski to put the game out of reach with 6:39 left.
With South Carolina (4-5, 3-4 SEC) leading 14-7 late in the third quarter, cornerback R.J. Roderick intercepted Vanderbilt’s Deuce Wallace at the VU 29. Parker White followed with a 22-yard field goal to give the Gamecocks their first double-figure lead.
Vandy (2-6, 1-4) forced a South Carolina punt to open the game, then, went 77 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown that came when quarterback Riley Neal hit a wide-open Cam Johnson down the left hash for an easy 26-yard score.
The Gamecocks answered when Hilinski hit wide receiver Xavier Legette with a 20-yard dart in the end zone, tying the game at 7-7 with 7:50 left in the second quarter.
Following Vandy’s second-straight three-and-out, Carolina marched 69 yards in 13 plays and took the lead with 1:38 left in the first half on running back a 1-yard run by Kevin Harris.
The Commodores had a messy situation on offense, especially at quarterback.
Neal, Vandy’s starter the first five games, started this one after being benched for Mo Hasan, who helped lead the Commodores to an upset of Missouri two weeks ago. Hasan, injured in that game, didn’t clear the concussion protocol and didn’t travel to Columbia.
But Neal was knocked out of the game with an undisclosed injury after Vanderbilt’s first touchdown and didn’t return. With fourth-teamer Allan Walters also out, that left Wallace (8 of 17, 30 yards) to go the distance.
Wide receiver Kalija Lipscomb, Vandy’s first-team preseason All-SEC pick and its leading receiver, didn’t play due to a coaching staff’s decision.
—Field Level Media