The Vanderbilt Commodores play host to the South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday for an 11 am kickoff at Vanderbilt Stadium. Both teams enter the game winless with identical 0-2 records.
Will Muschamp's Carolina squad have had a tough road, having faced two ranked teams in Tennessee and Florida. Likewise, the Commodores having faced two ranked teams in Texas A&M and LSU. Considering the competition level, it's understandable why both squads are winless on the young season.
What can we expect to see from South Carolina on Saturday? Here's a look at the visitors from Columbia.
BY THE NUMBERS: Offense
The Gamecocks offense won't scare anyone, but they have the talent and can make plays. To illustrate that, through two games, their offense is ranked 10th in the conference in total offense, averaging 354.0 yards per game.
Carolina quarterback Collin Hill has passed for a total of 502 yards through two contests. Only six teams in the league have less passing yards than Hill. It's the running game that has hampered them most so far this season.
On the ground, the Gamecocks average just 103.0 yards rushing so far. Only five teams, Mississippi State, Missouri, Arkansas, and surprisingly Auburn, are below Carolina on the ground.
For comparison, Vanderbilt averages 26 more yards per game than their future opponents. The difference is that Carolina has managed to score points, averaging 25.5 points per game compared to Vanderbilt at only 8.5 per game.
All this proves nothing considering both teams are winless, and each has come close in one and handled relatively quickly in the other. Id does suggest that this could be an even matchup on Saturday, and one the Commodores could conceivably have a chance to win.
BY THE NUMBERS: Defense
Neither defense will remind one of the better defenses in conference history, but considering South Carolina has allowed 393.5 yards per game in total offense. Inside those numbers, 289.5 yards come through the air, with 106.5 coming via the run.
Those numbers are good enough to have the Gamecocks ranked fourth currently in total defense. It's the scoring defense where this team has suffered. Only Kentucky, Missouri, and Ole Miss have surrendered more points on average through the first two weeks than the Gamecocks 34.5 points per game average.
The Commodores should be able to have some success running the football, and if they can do that and control the clock and shorten the game, they could find themselves in the game late.
This one appears to hinge on which Vanderbilt defense shows up. The one from game one or the one we saw struggle last week.
If it's the good one, then it could be a happy afternoon on the Vanderbilt campus.