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South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski (3) drops back to pass as Charleston Southern defensive lineman Shaundre Mims defends, right, during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/John Amis)

SEC Matchup: South Carolina Gamecocks at Tennessee Volunteers

The South Carolina Gamecocks travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the Volunteers this Saturday. Both teams are coming off double-digit defeats to ranked opponents. The Gamecocks have won the past three matchups against the Volunteers.

South Carolina Gamecocks (3-4)

After upsetting No. 3 Georgia a week prior, South Carolina couldn’t pull off a second upset at home against No. 9 Florida last week. The loss was headlined by the Gators’ 21 fourth-quarter points and questionable officiating, the latter of which did not sit well with Head Coach Will Muschamp.

After losing starting quarterback Jake Bentley to a foot injury, backup quarterback Ryan Hilinski has stepped in and tossed seven touchdowns, three interceptions and 1,198 passing yards. Aiding Hilinski in the air has been wide receiver Bryan Edwards who leads the team in receiving yards (504) and receiving touchdowns (4).

On the ground, running backs Tavien Feaster and Rico Dowdle have been a dynamic duo in the South Carolina backfield. The pair has combined for 949 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns. Enough to be the SEC’s fourth-most effective running team.

On the flip side of the ball, the Gamecocks defense has not been the best, but it hasn’t been the worst, either.

The unit has surrendered an average of 25.3 points per game, the sixth-most in the conference. While South Carolina has allowed the fourth-fewest rushing touchdowns per game, they have given up the second-most passing touchdowns per game.

Cornerback Israel Mukuamu leads the team in interceptions with four, the most in the SEC. On the defensive front, defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw leads a defensive line that is tied for fifth-most sacks in the conference.

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Tennessee Volunteers (2-5)

Following a 5-7 campaign in Jeremy Pruitt’s first year as head coach, the Volunteers have still failed to win consecutive conference games under Pruitt. After last week’s 35-13 loss to No. 1 Alabama, Tennessee hopes to beat South Carolina and win their second SEC game of the year.

Similar to the Gamecocks, the Volunteers have had multiple quarterbacks see the field this season. Quarterbacks Jarrett Guarantano, Brian Maurer and JT Shrout have all seen action, and while Maurer got the start against Alabama last week, a concussion could keep him out against South Carolina.

Running back Ty Chandler leads the Volunteers with 406 rushing yards and two touchdowns. And on the receiving end, Jauan Jennings leads the team with 478 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns.

Alas, it has not been enough for Tennessee as they have racked up the second-fewest yards and third-fewest points in the SEC.

The defense hasn’t been too hot either, as they have allowed the fifth-most points per game.

On a brighter note, Volunteers are second in the conference in interceptions and tied for third in turnovers. Defensive backs Nigel Warrior and Jeremy Banks lead the team in picks with five between the two of them.

Kicker Brent Cimaglia has also seen success this season, as he leads the SEC in field goal percentage.

How to Watch

The Gamecocks face the Volunteers at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 on the SEC Network.

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