Hale McGranahan/SEC Country
South Carolina RB A.J. Turner has 19 carries for 106 yards in his last two games.

Picks for South Carolina-Vanderbilt; plus, a closer look at the Gamecocks’ turnover margin

Welcome to SEC Country’s Chicken & Waffles, your daily dish for all things South Carolina Gamecocks football, basketball and more. Miss a previous edition? Find every edition of SEC Country’s South Carolina Gamecocks Chicken & Waffles right here.

Predicting South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

SEC Country’s Mike Chapman and Hale McGranahan both like the South Carolina Gamecocks to beat the Vanderbilt Commodores on Saturday, improving to 6-2 and becoming bowl eligible.

Not only are Chapman and McGranahan predicting a South Carolina victory, they’re both calling for the Gamecocks to cover the plus-7 spread.

Chapman has the Gamecocks winning 31-21, while McGranahan likes South Carolina by a much bigger margin, 34-10.

“Ty’Son Williams and A.J. Turner or A.J. Turner and Ty’Son Williams — let’s see them, early and often. Sprinkle in some jet sweeps: Turner, [Hayden] Hurst, Bryan Edwards, Shi Smith,” McGranahan wrote. “I want to see what a Shi Smith jet sweep looks like. I bet Vanderbilt doesn’t.”

Gamecocks good at getting the ball

One need only watch a quarter of South Carolina football to see how much the Gamecocks defense has improved. Where the unit has really excelled this season is creating turnovers, with 6 interceptions and 7 fumble recoveries.

Through seven game this season, the Gamecocks are plus-7 in turnover margin.

As great as the defense has been in forcing turnovers, South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley and the offense have been careful with the football as well. The Gamecocks have committed just 6 turnovers on the season.

Patience pays off for Mon Denson

With South Carolina starting running back Rico Dowdle out with a fractured left fibula, reserve back Mon Denson has been thrust into action.

Despite seeing limited action in his first two years in the program, Denson was never “a negative guy,” according to South Carolina coach Will Muschamp.

“He’s always been a positive guy, very popular with his teammates, and that tells me a lot about the type of person he is,” Muschamp said of the LaGrange, Ga., native, via Josh Kendall of The Charlotte Observer. “He’s a wonderful person.”

Denson has 12 carries for 39 yards this season.

Dakereon Joyner shines

Four-star QB and South Carolina commit Dakereon Joyner is practically already a fan favorite, as a Palmetto State product with exciting dual-threat talents.

Beyond his impressive skill set, the North Charleston, S.C., native has the stats to back up his lofty recruiting ranking. Take a look at how Joyner’s senior season stats rank among the other Elite 11 finalists.

Joyner is rated as the No. 222 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.

RJ Roderick returns

Three-star safety and South Carolina commit RJ Roderick thought his senior season was over due to a stress fracture in his back, but after a second opinion, it turns out that’s not the case.

The Cane Bay High School (Summerville, S.C.) standout will return to action on Friday night when his team plays Berkeley for the 4A Region 8 title.

Roderick committed to the Gamecocks in June. He’s rated by 247Sports as the No. 89 safety for 2018.

Confirmed guests for Saturday

A number of highly touted prospects and targets from the Class of 2018 will be in Columbia on Saturday for South Carolina’s homecoming game against Vanderbilt, including:

Samuel, a Florida State commit, and Wilson, a Florida commit, will both be on official visits.

Chris Silva slam goes viral

Last season, Sindarius Thornwell and PJ Dozier got the bulk of the attention for the South Carolina basketball team.

With the Gamecocks’ dynamic duo moving on to the NBA, it’s junior forward Chris Silva’s time in the South Carolina basketball spotlight.

The Gabon (Africa) native wasted no time in turning heads this season, delivering a devastating slam over Florida Atlantic graduate transfer guard Frank Booker in practice on Thursday.

Silva averaged 10.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game last season.

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