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South Carolina v. Tennessee Predictions

By: John Dunn, Rachel Ward and Chandler Smith The All Vol Call in Show The annual match-up between Tennessee and South Carolina wasn't always so "annual". In fact, these didn't even play between the years of 1930-1964. It wasn't until 1965 when Doug Dickey's Vols defeated Marvin Bass' Gamecocks 24-3 that these teams met for the first time since World War II. In 2004, coach Lou Holtz retired from coaching and left the South Carolina seat open. Enter: Steve Spurrier. Spurrier has been a thorn in the side of Vol fans everywhere for a number of years while serving as the head coach of the Florida Gators. However, Spurrier's success from his time with the Gators didn't follow him to the Palmetto state. During his tenure with the Gamecocks, Spurrier posted a 5-5 mark against the Volunteers. From 2012-present, this game has been separated by a combined 23 points, which equals out to roughly three points per game. Is history doomed to repeat itself? Or do we have a lop-sided victory, one way or the other, in Knoxville? John Dunn: This game has come down to the wire on multiple occasions and I don't see why this game would be any different. We have two very similar teams that are trying to find their identities still yet at this juncture of the season. South Carolina is playing very well right now. They are two weeks removed from upsetting (3) Georgia and one week removed from almost defeating another top-10 team in Florida -- and had it not been for poor officiating, they probably would have. The Gamecocks scare me, but not as much as being without Brian Maurer. He just brings something to this Tennessee offense that others don't bring. I think that Guarantano will try to play the best game of his career in this one. After the flub-up against the Tide, he is seeking redemption. Pruitt has already stated that JT Shrout will see the field as well, which could lead to an unforeseen spark, if he plays as well as Maurer has been. South Carolina may be playing well -- but so are the Vols. Realistically, they are playing their best football of the season right now. They're two weeks removed from defeating Mississippi State at home and one week away from actually playing with (1) Alabama. This game is in Knoxville -- it's going to be quite loud, and honestly, probably the deciding factor in this game. Prediction: 27-24 - Tennessee Rachel Ward: Tennessee will be back at home looking to notch their second conference win of the season against South Carolina. Both teams are coming off of conference losses. USC quarterback Ryan Hilinski entered the Florida match up coming off of an injury that happened in the previous week’s victory against a top-10 ranked UGA team. Differing from the Vols, though, USC’s starting quarterback is healthy and ready to play. Offensively, the Vols will be without QB Brian Maurer and it’s been stated by Pruitt that JT Shrout will be expected to be in rotation with Guarantano. The Vols’ offensive line had arguably their best performance of the season last weekend against top-ranked Alabama. Going into a match up with a strong USC defensive line, a strong showing from the Vols o-line will be helpful for Shrout and Guarantano. Ultimately, I think the Vols are showing constant improvement, have some fire left in them from Tuscaloosa and will have the home field advantage. Prediction: 24-17 - Tennessee Chandler Smith: Tennessee enters another must-win game (yeah, that’s been thrown around a lot). The back half of the schedule is usually when the Vols hit their stride, but can we see four more wins in it? South Carolina comes to Knoxville needing a win also. Injures have depleted their roster (we’ve thrown that around a lot too). Without their senior quarterback Jake Bentley and (likely) senior playmaker Rico Dowdle out of the game, the Gamecocks are beaten up. Whoever starts at quarterback for the Vols, whether it’s Jarrett Guarantano or J.T. Shrout, ball security is a must. Don’t let the record fool you, South Carolina is dangerous. “A hungry dog runs faster”. The team that wins the rushing battle wins this game. Tennessee is 0-4 when out-rushed, South Carolina 1-2 in the same situation. While Dowdle is a great player, he’s not even South Carolina’s leading rusher. With uncertainty at quarterback, it’s worrisome for Tennessee’s chances. South Carolina catches another break for Will Muschamp. Prediction: 24-13 - South Carolina


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