Tennessee football at South Carolina: 10 keys to the game

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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Here are the keys to the game for the Tennessee football Volunteers at USC.

There’s no doubt that Tennessee football and the South Carolina Gamecocks are playing in what might be considered a must-win game this weekend for both teams. The coaches, both former Nick Saban defensive coordinators, have a lot riding on this for their careers.

Will Muschamp is under fire after a 4-8 season and could be off to a disastrous start with a loss here. Jeremy Pruitt, meanwhile, is trying to show he’s still got the Vols on an upward trajectory entering his third year, and losing to South Carolina could be a major setback on that front.

As a result, both Tennessee football and South Carolina will be playing with a ton of pressure in their opener to this 10-game SEC-only pandemic adjusted season for each team. The winner will have a lot to be excited about going forward.

What factors will determine the winner, though? Well, it’s time to dive into that as we are back into preseason coverage. In this post, we’re going to return to our weekly keys to the game storyline, looking at the things that will affect the outcome between UT and USC.

These keys can be anything and affect either team. There’s no real rule. Some of them may not come into play at all. However, they all stand out as things that could be major factors, and in some cases it will be up to the teams themselves whether or not they are factors.

Obviously, given the way the season has changed, there will be new factors that were never in play before, and other factors, like home field advantage, have been lessened significantly. It literally changes the game in some ways.

So with this new normal, at least for the rest of 2020, let’s go ahead and break all of that down. As the SEC kicks off the season on Saturday, Sept. 26, these are the 10 keys to the game between Tennessee football and South Carolina.

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