Vols open as road favorite over South Carolina

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    Photo By Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

    No. 17 Tennessee will kickoff its 2020 season against South Carolina at 7:30 p.m. ET on the road this Saturday. The Vols will arrive at Williams-Brice Stadium as a road favorite.

    Tennessee is a 3-point favorite over the Gamecocks according to the line released by Circa Sports at the Golden Gate Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

    The Vols beat South Carolina 42-21 inside of Neyland Stadium last season as a 4.5-point underdog entering the game. J.T. Shrout started the game at quarterback and threw for 122 yards. Shrout threw a 55-yard touchdown to Marquez Callaway before Jarrett Guarantano entered the game and was 11-for-19 through the air to go along with two passing touchdowns.

    Will Muschamp’s Gamecocks will have a new quarterback at the helm. Ryan Hilinski was 28-of-51 for 319 yards and a touchdown against the Vols as a true freshman, but failed to lock down the job as he struggled to be consistent throughout the year. Muschamp announced on Thursday that Colorado State graduate transfer quarterback Collin Hill will be the starter to open up the 2020 season.

    Hill is coming off of a third ACL tear that ended his 2019 season just three games into the Rams’ campaign. When Hill was healthy at Colorado Sate, he appeared in 18 games making 11 starts. Hill was 263-of-433 for 3,323 yards, 23 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He missed South Carolina’s spring practice as he recovered from his ACL injury.

    South Carolina went 4-8 overall last season, going 3-5 in SEC play to finish fourth in the SEC East. The Gamecocks struggled offensively, resulting in Bryan McClendon being pushed out as offensive coordinator, and Mike Bobo being picked by Muschamp to be McClendon’s replacement. Bobo has plenty of experience in the SEC. The former Colorado State head coach previously at Georgia as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2001-14.

    Tennessee is on a six-game winning streak dating back to last season. Despite starting 1-4 in 2019, the Vols finished 8-5 that was capped off with a thrilling win in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl over Indiana.

    If the Vols can extend their winning streak to seven, they’ll return home to Neyland Stadium on Oct. 3 for its date with Missouri in the home opener 1-0. Kickoff with the Tigers is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET.

    Ben McKee
    Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.