The Vols will be coming off a bye week when they take on South Carolina on October 19 in Knoxville. The bye week will allow Tennessee to heal up and regain focus on the second half of the season. The first bye week on the season couldn’t come at a better time either. After taking on three likely top ten teams in the first six games, the Vols have to face another two after the off week.
South Carolina will be in the middle of three consecutive away games when they come to Neyland Stadium. The Gamecocks boast a couple of good quarterbacks, and could look to use formations with both on the field at the same time. Starting quarterback Connor Shaw is a dangerous runner and back-up Dylan Thompson can sling it. The Gamecocks’ Heisman Trophy contender, defensive end Jadaveon Clowney, is the best defensive player in the country, and leads a very good South Carolina defensive line.
Last season, the Gamecocks held off the Vols 38-35 in Columbia. If not for a Clowney forced fumble, Tennessee could have pulled off the upset. Many people will remember this game for the gruesome knee injury to Marcus Lattimore. The Vols will try to take down one of the SEC elite, and South Carolina is probably the best chance to do so.
A win over Steve Spurrier’s squad would excite the Volunteer fan base and could lead to big things for the rest of the season. The prediction here, however, is South Carolina will pull off another close victory and drop the Vols to 3-4 on the season. Alabama lurks next for the Vols, who will travel down to Tuscaloosa.