South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers
Saturday, Oct. 26; Neyland Stadium; Knoxville, Tenn.
There is a five-game stretch for Tennessee football starting with the Florida Gators that includes their three sure-loss games this year and two bellwether games. So far, the Mississippi State Bulldogs have been their only bellwether game, and we have them losing that one as well.
Because of that, the South Carolina Gamecocks become almost a must-win for Jeremy Pruitt and co. Quite frankly, this is a must-win game no matter what, and the same holds true for Will Muschamp. This will be the top bellwether game for both teams to determine how the season goes for each of them.
Muschamp is 7-0 against the Vols, one of the most inexplicable losing streaks Rocky Top has ever suffered. However, UT did only lose to S.C. by a field goal last year, and that happened on the road the same week they had to adjust to being without Trey Smith.
With the Vols having most of their players back this year, the game being in Knoxville and those same distractions likely not to be a factor, there are lots of advantages for them. Will it make any difference this time around?
South Carolina is going to be mentally drained heading into this game. They will have faced the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators in back to back weeks. UT will be mentally drained as well after a four-game losing streak, but the Alabama loss will be so lopsided that they’ll take the second half off and have time to regroup for this game. They win a close one at Neyland.
Tennessee: 30 South Carolina: 24