5. Shawn Elliott has a winning record against the Vols and Jeremy Pruitt.
Here’s something you may not know about Shawn Elliott. In his seven years with the South Carolina Gamecocks under Steve Spurrier and then Will Muschamp, all of which were as an offensive line coach, three and a half of which were as an offensive coordinator half a season as a head coach, he faced Tennessee football and Jeremy Pruitt 10 times altogether.
Seven of those games were against the Vols, as he faced them ever year. Three were against Pruitt, including one when he was the defensive backs coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide in 2010 and then two when he was the defensive coordinator of the Georgia Bulldogs in 2014 and 2015.
Want to know what his record is against those two combined? It’s 6-4. Yes, Elliott is 4-3 against UT, and he is 2-1 against Pruitt despite the fact that Pruitt was with more talented teams all three times. One of those was that notable blowout South Carolina delivered to the Tide in 2010, something they haven’t even come close to allowing since.
He also put up 38 against Pruitt in a 2014 victory as S.C.’s offensive coordinator, and that was en route to a 7-6 season. Then, as interim head coach in 2015, he took the Vols down to the wire despite UT being a 9-4 and top 25 team while the Gamecocks would go 3-9. And he did that at Neyland Stadium.
Simply put, Elliott knows how to beat both the Vols and Pruitt. He has plenty of history doing it, and we just pointed notable times in which he did it or came close as a major underdog. As a result, his experience alone should scare UT, and it’s a reason to put them on upset alert.