The Tennessee Volunteers matchup against the South Carolina Gamecocks at home in an SEC East game Saturday. The Volunteers are 3-1 on the season and are coming off of a 45-14 blowout win against UTSA. South Carolina bounced back in Week 4 and defeated Mississippi State 37-30. The last time these two teams played, South Carolina destroyed Tennessee 63-38, ending the Volunteers’ hopes of a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The Tennessee Breakdown
Tennessee is looking to stay in contention for an SEC East title after losing their first SEC matchup against the Florida Gators. The Volunteers have prioritized the run on offense this year, leading the SEC with 229.5 rushing yards per game. Tennessee will look to get Jaylen Wright going on the ground, who leads the team in rushing with 312 yards on 45 carries. Quarterback Joe Milton also mixes things up on the offensive end, ranking fourth on the team in rushing yards and attempts with 135 yards on 22 carries.
On the defensive side of the ball, senior linebacker Aaron Beasley leads the team in total tackles with 29 on the year. In its game against Florida, Tennessee gave up 29 points, including 172 yards and a touchdown to running back Trevor Etienne. Despite this, Tennessee ranks first in the SEC in sacks with 16 and has three interceptions on the season. Against a pass heavy team like South Carolina, the Volunteers will look to get to the quarterback.
Gamecocks Looking for First Ranked Win
South Carolina is also looking to stay in contention in the SEC East after losing to Georgia in their first taste of SEC action. The Gamecocks have stuck with the pass all year, averaging 340 passing yards per game. That number ranks first in the SEC, while they rank second in total pass yards with 1,360.
On the run, South Carolina ranks dead last in total yards, yards per game and yards per attempt. Quarterback Spencer Rattler has looked solid to start the year, throwing for an efficient 288 yards and three touchdowns with only two incompletions against Mississippi State. Defensively, the Gamecocks rank in the middle of the pack, standing at seventh in the SEC. South Carolina is allowing 129.7 rushing yards per game, giving up a season high 190 yards on the ground to Georgia.
South Carolina enters a bye week after Tennessee, but has another ranked opponent coming up. The Gamecocks will have a tough matchup against the No. 22 Gators on Oct. 14. Last time these two teams played, Florida dominated and beat South Carolina 38-6.
Tennessee heads into a bye week as well after Saturday’s game, looking ahead to Texas A&M on Oct. 14. This will be the first time since 2020 these two teams match up against each other. The Aggies won convincingly, beating the Volunteers 34-13.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is set for 7:30 p.m. at Neyland Stadium.