Matchup: South Carolina

This week, Tennessee takes on South Carolina in Knoxville. This is our take on this Vols vs Gamecocks matchup.

Game #: 1112
Site: Knoxville
Date: Oct. 29
Conference: SECE
Coach Match-up:
For the Vols - Fulmer and for the Gamecocks - Spurrier



Both teams have 203 rushes for 603 yards. They are the two worst rushing teams in the league. But the Vols have gone against tougher defenses and have two All-SEC caliber players in Rob Smith and Arron Sears. UT also has allowed the fewest sacks in the SEC.


Before this season, this was a no brainer. It still is - in reverse. Mitchell has completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards and 11 touchdowns. UT quarterbacks have combined to complete 54.2 percent of their passes -- ninth in the SEC - for 1,331 yards and five touchdowns.


Neither team has an active rusher with more than 200 yards this season. The Gamecocks have the worst rushing game in the SEC, UT is 11th. Here's a vote for Arian Foster.


USC freshman Sidney Rice leads the SEC in touchdown catches and yards per catch (16.3, 34 for 555 yards). Noah Whiteside (seven catches) is progressing from an ankle injury. The Vols have underachieved but still have talent with Jayson Swain, Robert Meachem, Brett Smith, Chris Hannon and C.J. Fayton.



UT leads the SEC in run defense and is sixth in the nation (89 yards per game). USC is 10th in the SEC and 85th in the nation in run defense (167.6).


UT's Kevin Simon (57 tackles) is having a monster year. Omar Gaither has been solid. Ricardo Hurley, Lance Laury, Mike West and Dustin Lindsey have been productive on a mediocre defense.


Safety Ko Simpson leads Gamecocks with 60 tackles but has just one interception. Fred Bennett is a good cover corner. Unit ranks eighth in the SEC in pass defense efficiency. Loss of Jason Allen hurts UT secondary, which has not given up a TD pass in SEC play. Jonathan Wade regressed against Alabama.

S. TeamsCOMMENTSS. Teams

UT is 106 in kick returns, 99 in net punting, 93 in punt returns, and has to lead the league in special teams penalties. Bright side: UT is second in the SEC in kick coverage. USC is 11th in the SEC in kick coverage and 113 in punt returns, but 25 nationally in net putting and 56 in kick returns.



UT coaches might want to stick it to Steve Spurrier but most of these Vols never played against Spurrier. Vols will have a hard time mustering emotion after laying it on the line in loss at Alabama.


Tennessee 27, South Carolina 17.

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