South Carolina, Vanderbilt still looking for first SEC win

Either South Carolina or Vanderbilt will get a much-desired first Southeastern Conference victory for its first-year coach when the teams meet Saturday in Columbia, S.C.The Gamecocks (3-3, 0-3 SEC), under rookie coach Shane Beamer, will be seeking a 13th straight victory in the series. South Carolina is coming off a 45-20 defeat at Tennessee.The Commodores (2-4, 0-2) lost 42-0 at Florida last week. Clark Lea is in his first year as coach after three years as Notre Dame’s defensive coordinator.Lea said his team and South Carolina aren’t necessarily similar just because of their records and rookie coaches.”Every program’s different and every program is positioned differently, and different players and different situations,” Lea said. “I don’t think you can draw a lot of comparison that way. It’s two teams that are going to be fighting for a win on Saturday.”During their weekly press conferences, the coaches both stressed optimism and the need to continue to improve.”When you win in this league, things are certainly magnified and you’re great,” Beamer said. “When you lose in this league, things are obviously magnified and you’re not so great.”One glaring weakness the Gamecocks hope to improve is the running game, which is compiling 124.5 yards per game. Since gaining 254 yards in a 46-0 season-opening win against Eastern Illinois, South Carolina hasn’t rushed for more than the 153 in last week’s loss at Tennessee.

Headlines