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Thursday, September 4, 2008
South Carolina-Vandy halftime update


Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- South Carolina is 6-for-6 this season. The Gamecocks have played six quarters and have now thrown six interceptions.

Chris Smelley added to the total with two picks in the first half Thursday, as the Gamecocks managed to stagger into halftime with a 10-3 lead over Vanderbilt.

Smelley, taking over for Tommy Beecher as the Gamecocks' starter, never really found a rhythm. And a couple of his passes that weren't intercepted were dangerous throws.

Vanderbilt missed a great chance to tie the game after Darlron Spead intercepted a Smelley pass over the middle and returned it 41 yards to the South Carolina 30. The Commodores moved inside the 5, but had to kick a short field goal.

The South Carolina defense has smothered Vanderbilt quarterback Chris Nickson, who has 18 yards rushing at the half. Nickson totaled a career-high 166 last week.

Even though the Commodores are hanging around, they likely will need to score on defense or special teams to win this game. They just haven't been able to dent the South Carolina defense.

The Gamecocks will be short-handed in the second half. Star receiver Kenny McKinley watched the second quarter in street clothes from the sideline after suffering what South Carolina officials said was a right leg injury. It looked like it might be a hamstring, because he was icing it.