8. Questionable South Carolina passing game vs. questionable Vols’ secondary
We go from strength vs. strength to weakness vs. weakness. All year long, Tennessee football’s pass defense has had issues. It didn’t help that Warren Burrell suffered a season-ending injury early in the year. Kamal Hadden getting hurt and Jaylen McCollough having to miss a few games only added to the issue.
However, there’s no denying they have had trouble containing quarterbacks. Sure, they shut down Kentucky quarterback Will Levis, but that’s becoming more common now. They had four straight games allowing quarterbacks to throw for at least 300 yards, two of which were 400-yard games.
On the other side, though, South Carolina has not had the passing attack it expected from Spencer Rattler. For the year, the Oklahoma Sooners transfer is completing 178 of 273 passes (65.2 percent) for 1,968 yards (7.2 yards per attempt), eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.
As a team, South Carolina is No. 70 in passing yards per game with 228, but they are No. 98 in passing touchdowns with just 12. To be fair, they are right near the top 50 as a team in passing yards per attempt, but the passing attack comes and goes. Which one shows up against the Vols? That’ll determine if they keep this interesting.