Expectations Against Vandy

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Kickoff is just a few hours away for the #9 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks against the Vanderbilt Commodores in Nashville, Tennessee. What can we expect to see from the Head Ball Coach and the rest of the coaching staff tonight? First, on offense expect Head Coach Steve Spurrier to set the tone early and establish the ground game. We can expect to see the Ball Coach to show that touted running back Marcus Lattimore is back to full strength and that he is ready to run the ball. “We’re going to try to win the game whatever it takes,” Spurrier said on Monday. “Marcus is ready to carry 25 or 30 times.” Next, we can also anticipate seeing Spurrier to establish this year‘s passing game. With the loss of 2nd round pick Alshon Jeffery, quarterback Connor Shaw no longer has an established, go-to deep threat that can go up and get the ball. Out of the top receivers on the depth chart, and especially those with experience, D.L. Moore is the only one listed over six feet tall, listed at 6‘5″. However, Moore has not proven much in the past and there are questions surrounding whether he can be a consistent threat in the passing game. “He’s been much better at practice. As coaches that’s what you look at,” Spurrier said. “Usually the guys that catch in practice and the scrimmages, those are the guys you want in the ball game. D.L. has done well. “ Until Moore proves he can be a deep threat for the Gamecocks, expect to see a lot of short, quick routes that create space for smaller, faster receivers like Ace Sanders and Bruce Ellington. Defensively we can expect to see a top tier defense once again for the Gamecocks. New defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward looks to attack the line of scrimmage more with touted defensive ends Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor. The word that has come out of camp all summer is that Clowney understands the defense a lot better this year than he did last year, a freshman campaign that earned him SEC Freshman of the Year honors from the league’s coaches. “If they are as good as advertised, then they will have a big ballgame,” Ward said on Tuesday after practice. “I’ve talked to Jadeveon about it and I’ve talked to Devin about it. If we’ve got big-time players, then they need to play big time in big-time games. And this is a big-time game.” The other word that has been coming out of practice is that Ward plans to blitz more than South Carolina defenses of the past. Ward will be capable of doing this because of the experience in this team‘s linebacker and secondary corps. Blitzing has a tendency to leave secondary players out on an island if the blitz is called at the wrong time. Ward will expect his senor players to be able to cover receivers tight when a blitz is called.

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