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South Carolina 37, Vanderbilt 14: There’s no sugarcoating this

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This was Derek Mason’s seemingly annual dud.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Vanderbilt Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

This would normally be the place where I read off the box score to you and try to get an idea what happened, but after Saturday’s game, I don’t think all that is necessary or anything any of you want to read. So, here are a few relevant statistics: Vanderbilt got outgained 534-284, Ke’Shawn Vaughn got nine carries for 30 yards and people are complaining about him not getting the ball more; and Vanderbilt didn’t score in the second half, folding after fighting back to go into the locker room trailing just 20-14.

This was a dud. It’s a seemingly annual part of the Derek Mason Experience, a game in which Vanderbilt lays an egg, either taking a game against a beatable opponent (Georgia Tech in 2016) and getting run off the field, or taking a game they probably weren’t winning (Houston in 2015, Alabama last year) and getting completely and utterly destroyed. Or, hell, basically the entire 2014 season.

I guess the thing to remember for now is that the Georgia Tech game in 2016 was just a one-off awful performance that the team recovered from. Of course, the Alabama game last year completely derailed the season. Which path does this season take now?