It’ll be another “must-win” game for Tennessee on Saturday. The same can be said for their opponent, too.
The Vols (2-5, 1-3 SEC) play host to South Carolina (3-4, 2-3 SEC) on Saturday afternoon. Two weeks ago, the two teams picked up big upset victories, with the Gamecocks pulling off the huge surprise by beating then-No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in double-overtime while Tennessee beat Mississippi State 20-10 in Knoxville.
Last weekend, both teams suffered losses to top 10 teams, and both head coaches had plenty of gripes for the officiating in their respective games.
South Carolina had a second half lead on No. 9 Florida before some questionable calls and big plays by Florida’s offense gave the Gators the 38-27 win. For Tennessee, the Vols dealt with their own controversial calls against No. 1 Alabama, and they had a chance to make it a one-score game midway through the fourth quarter until quarterback Jarrett Guarantano fumbled at the goal line and it was returned 100 yards for a touchdown by Alabama. The Tide prevailed 35-13.
Now, both teams need a win this Saturday to keep their bowl hopes alive.
The Tennessee-South Carolina series has become one of the most competitive rivalries in the SEC over the last decade-plus. Dating back to 2005, 10 of the last 14 match-ups have been decided by a touchdown or less, and six of the last seven contests between the two have been decided by a field goal or less. The average margin of victory in the series dating back to 2012 is just 3.3 points.
South Carolina won in Knoxville the last time they took on the Vols, defeating Tennessee 15-9 in 2017. Prior to that, the Vols had won two consecutive games against the Gamecocks in Neyland Stadium.
All-time, Tennessee is 16-3 against South Carolina in Knoxville.
Tennessee at one point had dominated their series against the Gamecocks. The Vols were 19-2-2 all-time versus South Carolina, then the Gamecocks hired Steve Spurrier as head coach in 2005. Since then, South Carolina has gone 8-6 against Tennessee, including a 6-3 record against the Vols over the last nine years. Current South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp is a perfect 7-0 all-time against Tennessee, including a sterling 3-0 record against the Vols as head coach of the Gamecocks.
The Vols may be starting redshirt freshman JT Shrout at quarterback this Saturday. South Carolina’s freshman quarterback, Ryan Hilinski, is banged up but expected to start. The Gamecocks will be without backup running back Rico Dowdle, though Clemson grad transfer posted a career-high 175 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries against Florida last week.
Both teams need a win, but only one team will leave Neyland Stadium a victor.
Take a look at what we’re “buying and selling” about the game. Here’s a “by the numbers” look at today’s match-up between the Vols and Gamecocks. Also be sure to check out our opponent preview and read through our score predictions for the game.
If you can’t make it to the game, here’s how you can watch or listen to the Vols’ match-up with the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Kickoff: 4:00 Eastern, October 26th, Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, TN)
TV: SEC Network (Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb, Alyssa Lang)
Streaming Online: ESPN.com/Watch, ESPN app
Radio: Vol Network, Sirius 99, XM 207
Line: South Carolina (-4.5)