Nashville is one of the happiest towns on Earth. There’s music and bars, a great combination to lift the spirits. It’s also a town where visiting football teams can visit and leave with a smile, thanks to Vanderbilt. After their loss last week to Missouri, USC, to steal a phrase from head coach Shane Beamer, needed to find some joy, especially on offense. They found it at First Bank Stadium to the tune of 38-27.
The Gamecocks rolled up 492 yards, a season high in SEC games. They distributed the ball well. They made big plays. That’s what good offensive teams do to Vanderbilt, and the Gamecocks were good on offense this night.
Their defense, however, sprang a leak, allowing 454 yards. Only Georgia and Arkansas have had more yards against the Gamecocks this season. They overcame that by forcing four turnovers and by using another fake punt to extend a drive for a touchdown.
So, the happy Gamecocks leave Nashville bowl eligible for the second straight season at 6-3 and with their 14th straight win over the Commodores. They are 3-3 in the SEC and will carry some confidence on offense with them when they go to Florida next weekend.