Tennessee vs. South Carolina Live Game Thread

    by -

    Photo Credit: Will Boling/RTI

    Tennessee (3-2, 0-2 SEC) is back at home following its bye week, facing off with South Carolina (4-2, 2-2 SEC).

    The Gamecocks are coming off their second conference win, a 48-22 victory over Arkansas. UT is trying to correct its mistakes from the worst loss in the history of Neyland Stadium a couple weeks ago.

    FINAL: South Carolina 15, Tennessee 9

    Guarantano rolled out to the right, delivered a good ball to Brandon Johnson…and it went right through his hands.

    Fourth Quarter

    With four seconds left, Tennessee has one play left to win this game. The ball is on the two yard line.

    :09 — Callaway is taking over. He catches a slant pattern to move the chains inside the five on third down. And then he draws pass interference. UT has the ball at the two.

    :40 — JG goes deep. Tennessee is twelve yards away from the lead.

    1:13 — Another Jake White field goal. UT needs to travel 80 yards for a TD to win.

    2:55 — Timeout Tennessee. South Carolina has the ball at the UT 30 yard line with a 2nd & 3 upcoming. Hard seeing a way the Vols can pull this one out.

    4:33 — Guarantano is sacked again on third down. It was a screen pass gone wrong. He lost the ball but somehow fell on the fumble. UT went 16 yards backward on that drive.

    This is the longest TD drought for UT since 2011.

    They scored at the 2:24 mark of the second quarter of the LSU game, went two full games without a TD after that and then scored a TD at the 9:05 mark of the first quarter against MTSU that season. Right now, the Vols haven’t found the endzone since their win over UMass.

    5:17 — South Carolina adds a 21-yard field goal. That’s South Carolina’s first lead of the game, holding a 12-9 advantage now. That drive took 9:10 off the clock. The Gamecocks used 16 plays to go 72 yards. South Carolina has outgained UT 191-12 in the second half.

    9:10 — Tennessee’s defense is getting tired. South Carolina is pounding the Vols in the running game. They’re in the redzone now on another long, clock-eating drive. UT has zero push at the line of scrimmage.

    14:47 — Quarterback draw for Guarantano…nothing. He gets four yards. But hey, Trevor Daniel is still good! He boots a 72 yard punt deep into SC territory. They’ll start at the 24.

    Third Quarter

    End of the third: We’re tied at nine. Tennessee has a third and nine from the 21 upcoming to start the final frame.

    The Gamecocks travelled 95 yards in 12 plays, covering 6:28 to tie the game.

    1:02 — South Carolina finds the endzone. AJ Turner runs for a 20 yard gain, getting around the corner and outrunning the secondary. But the extra point is no good…we’re all tied up at nine. You just can’t make this stuff up.

    3:51 — Bentley keeps the drive alive. And then finds Bryan Edwards again for 17 yards deep into the Vols’ territory.

    4:30 — Bentley has kept two option runs for a total of 19 yards on this drive. Big third down upcoming right around midfield.

    8:04 — Stop me if you’ve heard this before…Guarantano is sacked on third down. It was another rollout play from the under center single-back formation. Antoine Wilder went untouched to the QB.

    9:33 — South Carolina got a sack on third down, but Taylor Stallworth is hit with a 15 yard penalty for playing after his helmet fell off. Seriously. UT gets a first down up to the 36 yard line.

    11:03 — UT brings pressure on third down, and Bentley’s pass is incomplete. The Vols will take over at their own 21 once again. So no harm done from the quick three-and-out on the last drive.

    13:30 — Tennessee goes to the air three times, gaining five yards. Guarantano was sacked on third down for a loss of two again. He hasn’t had much protection on the outside, forcing a rush up the middle. It’s worked for the most part, but Guarantano is holding on to the ball for too long.

    Halftime: Tennessee 9, South Carolina 3

    Jarrett Guarantano hasn’t looked too bad, but there’s definitely room for improvement. He’s 5-for-7 for 54 yards. He also doesn’t have a turnover.

    The bar is pretty low for Tennessee quarterbacks. All JG needs to do it simply manage the game and avoid mistakes. And that’s exactly what he’s done so far.

    But Tennessee hasn’t scored in the last eight quarters. That dates all the way back to the first half of the UMass game.

    The Vols continue to settle for field goals in the redzone, with Guarantano taking three sacks on all three trips inside the 25.

    Kelly has been effective, but has only broken one run for a big game. Meanwhile, five of South Carolina’s 13 rushes have been stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.

    Jake Bentley is 6-for-7 on passes to his right. He’s 5-for-6 on passes between five and ten yards from the line of scrimmage. Not a bad start for the Tennessee defense.

    Second Quarter

    :33 — Cimaglia again, this time from 24 yards. The Vols marched 54 yards in 11 plays spanning 4:41 to extend their lead.

    :43 — Tennessee is stalling in the redzone again. Guarantano holds on to the ball for too long, taking a loss of eight on second and goal from the four.

    7:34 — Micah Abernathy is shaken up. It looks like Theo Jackson is going to come on. UT may also move Rashaan Gaulden to safety and put Baylen Buchanan at nickel.

    8:40 — Guarantano is sacked again, this time for a loss of five on second down. Drew Richmond missed a block on the blind side, and JG never had a chance. It looked like he did hold on to the ball a tad bit longer that he should have. Trevor Daniel’s 56 yard punt puts South Carolina deep in its own territory at the 14 yard line. All four of Guarantano’s completions have come when he’s rolling to the left.

    10:31 — Parker White hits a 47 yard field goal. That’s his first made field goal beyond 40 yards this season, and it would’ve been good from 60. South Carolina has nine rushes for 28 yards, but 17 of those came on one play. 44% of the Gamecocks’ runs have been stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage.

    13:37 — Tennessee goes three-and-out. Guarantano ran for four yards on first down, and his arm was hit on third down, causing a deep shot to Palmer to fall to the ground.

    First Quarter

    End first quarter: Quart’e Sapp gets in the backfield to force a loss of two on first down. And then Jonathan Kongbo sets up an easy sack for Kahlil McKenzie. The Gamecock’s third down play is blown up by Rashaan Gaulden for no gain. UT’s defense has been nearly perfect so far today.

    1:36 — Brent Cimaglia nails a 33 yard field goal. Guarantano was sacked for a loss of ten on third and goal from the four. Tennessee’s redzone woes continue, but it has still at least managed to score points. That’s progress.

    Tennessee ALMOST had a fun touchdown pass on a double pass from Josh Smith. But John Kelly couldn’t quite hold on.

    6:30 — The Vols are moving the ball again. Jarrett Guarantano is rolling out of the pocket on most of his throws, and it’s working. He’s found Josh Smith and Brandon Johnson ten yards down the field for both of his completions today. He also has 15 yards on non-designed runs, meaning he’s tucking the ball on passes and finding room to scramble.

    8:44 — South Carolina running back Rico Dowdle is shaken up. He rushed for 764 yards last season, and is averaging 3.3 yards per carry as the Gamecocks’ feature back this season. He’s limping off the field with help from a couple trainers.

    Both of JG’s targets on the opening drive were at least ten yards down the field. That’s different from what the Vols have shown in past games with Quinten Dormady. Most of Tennessee’s passes have been to check-down options over the past couple of games.

    10:26 — Brent Cimaglia hits a 29 yard field goal. Jarrett Guarantano leads the Vols to its first points of the season in the first quarter against an FBS opponent. He showed off the wheels a few times, tucking the ball on third and long for a gain of ten. Most importantly, he didn’t give the ball away, which is a sign of progress.

    14:08 — South Carolina only manages three yards on its first drive. Matthew Butler was in on that last play, which was an incomplete swing pass to the outside. The Gamecocks didn’t have any momentum. Tennessee takes over at its own 43 after the punt.

    14:53 — Jake Bentley goes deep to Bryan Edwards on the first play, but overthrows him deep down the sideline. A flag was initially thrown for pass interference on Emmanuel Moseley, but it was waved off.

    South Carolina won the toss and elected to receive.

    Pregame Notes

    Senior kicker Aaron Medley is out for this game due to illness. Freshman Brent Cimaglia will handle the kicking duties for the Vols.

    He’s 1-for-4 this season, with his lone making coming from 51 yards against Florida.

    Marquez Callaway and Austin Smith are both in full uniform for warmups, so no surprise there. I expect both of those guys to be ready to play today.

    It looks like Jack Jones won’t play today. The starting offensive line is Tatum-Smith-Robertson-Kendrick-Richmond.

    Freshman defensive end Deandre Johnson will also miss out on today’s game. The Vols’ will be thin at defensive end today with Darrell Taylor suspended as well.