Chris Price of InsideTennessee.com joins Gamecock Anthem for this week's edition of "From the other sideline" to preview the South Carolina-Tennessee game. Below are Price's answers to Gamecock Anthem's six questions.
1. The Justin Worley recruiting story has been talked about all week in South Carolina. Is the fact South Carolina didn't offer and the fact there are several South Carolina players from Rock Hill an overblown storyline or true extra motivation for the freshman quarterback?
It is certainly a storyline, but it wouldn't be if Worley was a junior making his first start. Justin Worley has been thrust into the spotlight based on injury and inadequacy from senior Matt Simms not his own maturation. Worley seems to take everything in stride. Surely it's a thought in the back of his mind, but motivation is likely a stretch -- the kid hasn't even thrown a college pass yet.
2. Some on the outside looking in were surprised when Tennessee burned Worley's redshirt last week. Is this a preparing-for-the-future type move, a we're-going-to-try-all-options type move or move because Worley has been pushing in practice?
The move was simply a 'we have to do something' move. Matt Simms wasn't getting it done, period. It's tough because Simms is a great kid, but there were beginning to be some serious concerns as to if Simms could get the Vols to a bowl game. Now Dooley wants to see if Worley can be a spark for an offense who has only generated 13 points in their last two games under Simms.
3. Almost all year teams have stacked the box in an effort to slow Marcus Lattimore. With Lattimore out for the season, how would you expect Tennessee to defend South Carolina and sophomore quarterback Connor Shaw?
Tennessee will likely mix up its defense for the first time in weeks. The last two weeks Tennessee has been heavy on stopping the run. This week you might actually see the Vols play the down and distance. I think you will see some blitzes as well which Tennessee hasn't shown in several weeks. It will be interesting to see what Justin Wilcox has schemed up for this week.
4. After back-to-back games against the two best teams in the country, where is this Tennessee team at mentally and physically?
Physically they are a little beaten down, but Dooley is sure to give his best players a break during the week. They seemed to have recovered well and will be full speed aside from the season-ending injuries suffered earlier in the year. Mentally, no one can be sure. Dooley hasn't mentioned any mental lapses in practice, but with such a young squad, how they will come out of the gate is a true mystery.
5. Other than some of the household names, who are a few standout Tennessee players that South Carolina will have to account for Saturday?
A guy that could be a little under the radar is Tennessee receiver DeAnthony Arnett. He played key roles in both the Florida, Buffalo and Georgia games without Justin Hunter, but his production dropped off with the loss of Tyler Bray. If Justin Worley is able to distribute the ball accurately then Arnett will likely be a target.
6. Simply, what are a few key things Tennessee has to do to win Saturday?
Tennessee has to gain first downs in the second half. The Vols have been atrocious coming out of the half on offense. Worley will have to show his much-complimented poise and keep the Vols on their offensive schedule in the second half for Tennessee to have any type of success against the Gamecocks.
Thanks for joining us, Chris!
Please stop by InsideTennessee.com for all your Tennessee Vols news.
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