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UPDATE: South Carolina defeated Vanderbilt, 17-13.
South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt will undoubtedly be the most important game of opening night.
The Gamecocks will look to start their run at an SEC championship in strong fashion, but they could end up being in for a real test against the home-standing Commodores.
Vanderbilt returns 15 starters, including the dangerous offensive trio of QB Jordan Rodgers, RB Zac Stacy and WR Jordan Matthews.
South Carolina's defense may feature one of the best defensive end duos in the country—Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor—but it's also a unit that lost six key starters from 2011, including first-round NFL draft picks Melvin Ingram and Stephon Gilmore, as well as leading tackler Antonio Allen.
Rodgers, Stacy and Matthews are capable of challenging the Gamecocks and making them work for all four quarters.
South Carolina may have the best player on the field, RB Marcus Lattimore. However, no one can know for sure just what to expect from the star junior back since he's returning from a serious knee injury and hasn't experienced full contact since last October.
If DT Rob Lohr, DE Walker May and LB Archibald Barnes can keep Lattimore contained, Vanderbilt has enough offensive firepower to keep things close and push this game into the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, this one has the chance to be a lot closer than a lot of people may be expecting, and it wouldn't be all that shocking if we end up starting off the season with a major rankings-shaking upset.
James Franklin's team has the chance to make a major statement on a national stage, and it will be interesting to see how the Commodores respond.
Prediction: South Carolina 26, Vanderbilt 13