COLUMBIA -- After South Carolina's defense struggled against Tennessee, it looked to be much of the same after Vanderbilt’s first possession Saturday night.
The unit settled in and only allowed 112 total yards after the 77-yard touchdown drive that turned out to be Vanderbilt’s only score in the 24-7 South Carolina win.
“Just coming out and executing and focusing. I think that was the biggest thing,” T.J. Brunson said. “Not really sure exactly what happened with the focus on that, but we dialed back in after we got on the sideline and tried to correct everything that we messed up.”
Brunson was a big reason for that, racking up six tackles, including one for loss, and notching his first career interception late in the game.
Vanderbilt’s lone score, a double move by the receiver, admittedly fooled cornerback Jaycee Horn, who finished with four tackles and one pass breakup.
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“They just had good play-calling. I made a mistake in the back end. He hit me with a double move. We had seen that route probably 30 times on film,” Horn said. “It was third-and-short, so just playing the sticks and that was the first time they’ve run the double move, so that was a good route. We just settled in and played our ball for the rest of the game and came out with the win.”
Head coach Will Muschamp doesn’t blame Horn, though admitted they probably over coached the play in practice.
“They hit us on a double move. That was something they set up pretty good. They had run that from that look, the quick out, and we bit on it,” Muschamp said. “Probably over coached by myself and [defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson], going and playing that route so that’s on me as a coach. That’s not on the player right there, that’s on me."
Giving up 485 total yards and just over 7 yards per play against Tennessee, Horn said Saturday’s dominant performance meant a little more.
Vanderbilt put up 189 yards, averaging 3.8 yards per play. After the Commodores' scoring drive, they put up just over 100 yards and averaged 2.9 yards per play.
After the first drive, Vanderbilt only crossed midfield once, on its second drive. The closest they came to the Gamecock logo in the second half was getting to their own 46 before punting.
“Definitely was more meaningful. Everybody knows the bad game we had last week, that was one thing we focused into this game, stopping the pass,” Horn said. “T-Rob (Travaris Robinson) let us play more aggressively, getting in more receivers’ faces and it worked out in our favor.”