When it comes to facing the South Carolina Gamecocks, big plays seem to come from everywhere except the offense. Because of that, Tennessee football will once again be facing a uniquely built team, something that seems to be a staple of the SEC East at this point. However, for the most part, the Vols have aced those tests.
As we get set to take a look at the crucial players from Shane Beamer’s team that the Vols need to keep an eye on, part of this is going to be about UT’s ability to test some standout players for South Carolina. We’re not entirely sure just how good some of them are.
On the other hand, we know South Carolina is strong in one aspect of the game, special teams, and that makes certain players doubly dangerous. Josh Heupel has to prepare for all of that. Which players will he need to key on? Let’s break that down here in the five Gamecocks to watch for against Tennessee football.
The Tennessee football Volunteers will have their hands full with a certain set of weapons on one unit at South Carolina Saturday.
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Again, special teams is huge. South Carolina has four touchdowns on special teams this year. Xavier Legette is officially listed as a running back, and he does have 109 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown this year. However, his core strength is obviously what he does as a kickoff returner, and that’s the biggest threat to the Vols.
Legette is averaging an insane 31.5 yards per kickoff return on 11 returns this year. He has also run one back for a touchdown. Beamerball is all about special teams, and Legette has done an amazing job living up to that for South Carolina this year. As a result, he’s a huge threat.
To be fair, the punt return game is also a threat, as Josh Vann has run back 10 punts and is averaging over 15 yards a return. However, Paxton Brooks’ punting has been pretty elite lately, and Legette has a touchdown, so he is likely to be a bigger threat to Tennessee football in this game. Both are issues, though.