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AVCIS GAME PREDICTIONS: Week Five - South Carolina

By: The All Vol Call in Show

20230929

Tennessee plays host to South Carolina this Saturday in Neyland Stadium. The team will wear its "dark mode" uniforms, and the environment is set to be electric. Given the result of last year's contest, there will be plenty of emotions from each team as tensions boils over prior to kickoff. Can the Vols get revenge from last season and begin to reach their max potential, or do the Gamecocks make it two in a row? the answers to these questions and more lie in the hallowed grounds of Neyland Stadium.



John Dunn

Founder, Managing Director, Producer, Host

Earlier this week, I did an article detailing the statistical comparisons between Tennessee and South Carolina.


find it here:


A few things stuck out to me when breaking it down. first of all, I've seen the same things that everyone else has seen. Tennessee has yet to pass "the eye test." They just haven't played like they're capable. However, looking over the statistical data, this may be the chance to do that.


South Carolina is baaaaad on defense. They're awful in pass defense (126th), which skews their rushing defense numbers as well. If a team can throw the ball anywhere they want to, and at-will, then why would they need to run as much? The Gamecocks' rush defense looks better on paper (48th) than what it actually is, due to being abhorrent in the secondary. Offensively, South Carolina holds a single advantage against Tennessee: passing offense. Spencer Rattler has done a fairly good job under pressure this season, which has been a lot of the time, due to a porous offensive line.


If Tennessee executes this game, they'll win in a landslide. Something to resemble the 2021 match up between the two. However, that is a big if. If the Vols fail to execute, this thing could be ugly. However, with the game being in Neyland Stadium, a night game, the Gamecocks not being very good, and the emotional factor from last season -- I'll take Tennessee by a decent bit.

Prediction: Tennessee - 42 | South Carolina - 24


Dallas Bowlin

Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Content Manager, Co-Host

There was not much Joe Milton and the team could’ve done to positively change my stance on the team against UTSA. They can certainly change my mind against the Gamecocks, however. Both of these teams have defenses that aren’t necessarily great. The only difference is I don’t currently have faith in Tennessee to exploit South Carolina’s weaknesses. Please, prove me

wrong.

Prediction: South Carolina - 39 | Tennessee - 30


Jake Hubbard

Senior Staff Writer, Co-Host, Content Manager

I am still completely up in the air on this Tennessee team. The offense and defense both looked like top 15 units in the first half last week against UTSA. Joe Milton looked very good, the receivers did their job, the offensive line held up nicely. The second half was a completely different story, and I honestly have no clue why. I do worry about Rattler picking apart this secondary (again).


Wells is out, South Carolina has a pieced together offensive line, and I still have a lot of faith in Tennessee’s front seven. South Carolina doesn’t have a very good defense, and Neyland will be the rowdiest atmosphere in college football on Saturday. Again, this prediction lives or dies by play calling and Joe Milton’s ability to get the job done.

Prediction: Tennessee - 42 | South Carolina - 31


Trevor Shelby

Senior Staff Writer, Junior Editor, Content Manager, Co-Host

Last year, the Vols left Columbia with a sour taste in their mouths, among other things. The 63-24 drubbing ended a dream season for Hendon Hooker, crushed Tennessee’s chances of winning the SEC East, and gave everyone reason to buy stock in South Carolina. Safe to say Tennessee has bad intentions for the Gamecocks tomorrow.


If Tim Banks sits back in coverage, Spencer Rattler will pick this defense apart and Banks will have a pink slip on his desk Sunday morning. I expect that he learned his lesson and will turn up the pressure on this shaky SC offensive line. Neutralizing Xavier Legette will be a huge key to victory for UT. Historically speaking, South Carolina doesn’t perform well on “O” at Neyland. Let’s hope that Rattler and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains haven’t studied from their forefathers this week.


Offensively, I haven’t been given reason to believe Tennessee can score 40 yet. Joe Milton and the receivers need to build on their first-half performance against UTSA. Jaylen Wright and Dylan Sampson must be force-fed, with Jabari Small picking up the tough yards on short distance. And the big boys up front need to find their footing, otherwise it’ll be a long day in Knoxville. That said, improvements have been made and this team will play with a chip on their shoulder. Give me the Big Orange in a close one.

Prediction: Tennessee - 35 | South Carolina - 31


Jordan Moore

Junior Staff Writer

I’ve not had a good feeling for this game all week. On paper, Tennessee is the better football team, and even with last year’s debacle in Columbia, I still think Josh Heupel is the better coach in this match up. It will be a crazy environment in Neyland Saturday night. Revenge is on the minds of Vol fans, the black jerseys are being worn, and it is a night game.


I think the noise does play a factor for Tennessee. To win this game the Vols will need to be able to run the football consistently. 150+ is a good mark. Convert manageable third down opportunities and score touchdowns, not field goals, in the red zone. Defensively, Tim Banks needs to draw up a game plan to not allow Spencer Rattler & Xaiver Legette to have a big night. South Carolina generates their points off explosive plays in the passing game. Keep everything in front of you in the secondary, make them drive the field. The front four on the DL need to have a big night, keep Rattler in the pocket and don’t allow him to extend plays. I think all of that happens for the Vols, which leads them to the win and being 4-1 heading into the bye week. Prediction: Tennessee - 33 | South Carolina - 21


Zac Strickland

Junior Staff Writer

There are so many layers to this game that I almost don’t even know where to start. It’s a critical game for so many reasons, especially for Tennessee. There’s a lot to gain and a lot to lose. To this point, the Gamecocks have been carried by QB and receiver play, and have seemingly been lacking in other areas. While the Vols are still weak in the back end, they can avoid a repeat disaster of last year by winning the line of scrimmage defensively, as UNC did.


On offense I think it actually behooves the Vols to slow it down this week. Teams have been leaning on the Gamecock defense all year with great success. Pound the rock, take the check downs, and don’t try to beat Rattler at his own game. Avoiding drive-killing drops and penalties will be paramount.


My (apparently now unpopular) opinion is that the Vols not only win, but do so convincingly. I think if they can get up early, they will ride the tidal wave of momentum to a double digit win. If they don’t, it will probably be a nail-biter and could go either way. However, this game has been circled for a long time in all of Knoxville, and I see the team responding with what may end up being their best performance of the season.

Prediction: Tennessee - 45 | South Carolina - 26


(PS: I was going to say 45-27, but then I figured Shane Beamer would probably attempt and fail a gimmicky two point conversion for no reason at all, so I changed it to 45-26)


Joe Davis

Junior Staff Writer

The Vols need to win Saturday. This isn't about anything other than just needing this moment. There's bigger games left on the schedule, but losing this game would sting; a lot. Everyone knows about last year. The Vols are trying to separate themselves from mid-tier SEC teams, and giving up 63 points is not the way to go about it.


Tennessee is a double-digit favorite at home. Go take care of business. The running game needs to be dominant. Milton needs to hit open receivers. The line needs to play as a cohesive unit and the secondary needs to shut down Xavier Legette. Do those things, and the Vols win and move on.

Prediction: Tennessee - 41 | South Carolina - 28


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