Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) throws to receiver as he's hit by Pittsburgh linebacker SirVocea Dennis (7) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

Tennessee hosts South Carolina in SEC matchup

The South Carolina Gamecocks head to Knoxville for a noon game against the Tennessee Volunteers. In this SEC battle, both teams, coming off of wins last week, will look to secure a win to improve their even 3-2 records.

Tennessee Volunteers

For the first time in three weeks, the Volunteers will be back home at Neyland Stadium. In the first quarter, Tennessee has outscored their opponents 73-13. Head coach Josh Heupel will look to capitalize on that strength heading into this weekend’s game.

Last week, Tennessee defeated Missouri 62-24. Quarterback Hendon Hooker led the Vols to victory by completing 15-of-19 passes for 225 yards and three touchdowns. Offensive lineman Ollie Lane aided Tennessee in accumulating 683 yards of total offense, including 458 rushing yards, in their win against Mizzou.

Heupel acknowledges Lane’s growth as a player and his contribution to the Vols.

South Carolina Gamecocks

The South Carolina defense has produced three touchdowns this season. Coach Shane Beamer will look to both the defense and offense to create scoring opportunities. However, Beamer knows the Gamecocks cannot rely solely on their defense to create turnovers to win.

South Carolina will focus on keeping the momentum going after a 23-14 win last week over Troy. In five games, the Gamecocks have scored just one rushing touchdown. However, the defense has been able to pick up the slack. Against Troy, David Spaulding returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown. Quarterback Luke Doty threw for 255 yards and a touchdown.

This week, the Gamecocks prepared for Tennessee’s tough offensive line led by a strong quarterback.

The Matchup

Tennessee and South Carolina are no strangers on the football field. The teams have faced off 39 times in the past years, with Tennessee winning 27 games. Tennessee holds a current win streak with victories in 2019 and 2020.

Entering this matchup, South Carolina will look to improve on their running game backed by a strong defense. Tennessee will look to stay sharp on offense.

Kickoff is slated for Saturday at noon. The game can be watched on ESPN2.

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