Vanderbilt upsets South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson had no doubt how his Commodores would react, even if many others did, after last week’s disheartening loss to Georgia.
“It made us a little angry,” he said.
And Vanderbilt took it out on Coach Steve Spurrier and No. 6 South Carolina on Saturday with a 17-6 Southeastern Conference victory.
The win was Vanderbilt’s first over Spurrier in 15 tries and the highest-ranked opponent it defeated in more than 70 years.
A week ago, the Commodores (4-3, 2-3) left their home stadium after Georgia’s 20-17 victory on a last-second field goal.
“I’m sure that people thought we’d fold in the second half here” after the Commodores led 17-0, Johnson said. “But we didn’t. We came back and played great, maybe better than in the first half.”
This time, it was two touchdown passes from Mackenzi Adams, two interceptions by D.J. Moore and a defense that was so stout it didn’t make a difference which quarterback Spurrier called on.
The Gamecocks (6-2, 3-2) became the season’s latest top-10 upset victim.
Little went right for South Carolina. The offense was held to 195 yards. Starter Chris Smelley threw two intercepted passes and Vanderbilt had seven sacks.
“This should not be a shock to our team,” Spurrier said. “This should not be a shock. Hopefully, it will straighten them out.”
The Commodores hadn’t beaten a team ranked this highly since topping No. 6 Louisiana State, 7-6, in 1937.