7. Will South Carolina stave off a fast start from the Vols?
To have any chance in this one, South Carolina can’t let Tennessee football go off early. Last year, the Vols roared off to a 28-0 start in this game. South Carolina outscored them the rest of the way but still lost 45-20. Josh Heupel can pour it on if the team gets going, and Shane Beamer can’t let that happen if he’s going to have any chance.
Stats aren’t in his favor. For the year, the Vols are No. 4 in first quarter points a game with 10.2 and No. 1 in first half points a game with 25.1. South Carolina, on the other hand, is No. 77 in first quarter points per game with just over five and No. 80 in first half points per game at 12.1.
It’s even worse on the other side. South Carolina is No. 100 in first quarter points allowed per game at nearly seven and a half and No. 91 in first half points allowed per game at 15.8. The Vols are No. 47 in first quarter points allowed per game at just under five and No. 40 in first half points allowed per game at 11.7.
In case you aren’t tracking the math, that means South Carolina gets outscored on average by three in the first quarter and nearly four in the first half. Tennessee football outscores opponents on average by about five and a half in the first quarter and over 13 points in the first half. Simply put, this game screams for UT to pour it on early. South Carolina can’t let that happen.