Vanderbilt Stuns South Carolina, Goes 2-0

Ben WeixlmannSenior Writer ISeptember 4, 2008

The South Carolina Gamecocks weren't going to stay in the Top 25 for long, at least if the Vanderbilt Commodores had anything to say about it.

Unlike last week, where quarterback Chris Nickson ran for a career-high 166 yards against Miami of Ohio, the Commodores used a balanced run-pass attack to overcome a 10-3 halftime deficit, scoring 17 unanswered points to defeat the Gamecocks, 24-17.

The stout Vandy D held the Gamecocks scoreless for 26 minutes in the second half, but tired out late to make the game close.

After Chris Smelley was spot-on on the final couple of drives, leading the Gamecock charge, the Commodore defense held the Gamecocks on the last drive to turn the ball back over to Nickson and Co.

The real hero of tonight's game was Jared Hawkins, who ran for 84 yards and secured the victory for Vanderbilt by scampering for a first-down with under a minute to play.

Virtually, no one thought Vandy would win this game, but it shows that in the SEC there are surprises each and every week. In fact, it's the second straight loss for Steve Spurrier's bunch against Vanderbilt, taking a rough home loss against the Commodores just a year ago.

This was a huge win for the Commodores though, taking them to 2-0 on the season. Moreover, the Gamecocks, at No. 24, are the highest ranked squad to be defeated by Vanderbilt since 1932.

The Commodores play the Rice Owls next, while the Gamecocks take on the Georgia Bulldogs.