Preview: Tennessee at South Carolina

When: 7:15 PM ET, Saturday, October 29, 2016
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina

Tennessee needed a week off after enduring one of the toughest two-game stretches any team in the country will see this season and is hoping the time off reinvigorated the players. The 18th-ranked Volunteers will try to avoid a third consecutive loss and stay in the race for the SEC East crown when they visit South Carolina on Saturday.

Tennessee's tendency to play tight games finally cost it in a 45-38 double-overtime loss at Texas A&M on Oct. 8, but the Volunteers were barely in the game the next week while getting demolished 49-10 at home by No. 1 Alabama. "The goal does not change," Tennessee coach Butch Jones told reporters of the approach to the rest of the season. "We're looking to be 1-0 each and every week and it starts with today, looking to be 1-0 today." The Gamecocks are losers of four straight conference games but are keeping things tight with the defense and finally found some rhythm on offense by going out of conference and topping Massachusetts 34-28 last week. "If they continue to do what they do, we’ll continue to do what we do," South Carolina linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams told reporters of the offense. "I’m very optimistic about this team and where we can go. We have a lot of talent on the team. We have to continue to go out there and play and mature as a whole team."

7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Tennessee -13.5

ABOUT TENNESSEE (5-2, 2-2 SEC): The Volunteers' hopes for a spot in the College Football Playoff are now a big longshot, though if they manage to win out and Florida loses another game they will get another shot at Alabama in the SEC championship game. Tennessee is fighting through a slew of injuries but still has quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who is looking to bounce back after throwing a pair of interceptions in the loss at Texas A&M and being held to 92 yards and no touchdowns through the air by Alabama. Dobbs passed for 255 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-24 win over South Carolina last season that was part of a six-game winning streak to end the season following a loss to Alabama.

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (3-4, 1-4): The Gamecocks spent the first half of the season trying to settle on one quarterback and may have finally found their man in Jake Bentley. The freshman made his first appearance against Massachusetts last week and completed 17-of-26 for 201 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in the win as South Carolina managed more than 20 points for the first time this season. Perry Orth and Brandon McIlwain each started three games before the Gamecocks abandoned their plans to redshirt Bentley.


1. Tennessee has taken three straight in the series, and the last four meetings were decided by a total of 11 points.

2. Gamecocks freshman RB Rico Dowdle, who made his debut on Oct. 1, found the end zone in each of the last two games.

3. Volunteers RB Alvin Kamara (knee) will not be available.

PREDICTION: Tennessee 28, South Carolina 20

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Tennessee 5-2 L2 30.4 29.9 3-1 2-1 5-2 0-0 2-2
South Carolina 3-4 W1 16.9 21.3 2-2 1-2 2-4 0-0 1-4

Last Meeting

Tennessee South Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/7/15 SOCAR 24 TENN 27 408 153 255 385 152 233

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
TENN J. Dobbs 58.8 255 2 1
SOCAR P. Orth 51.3 233 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
TENN J. Hurd 23 90 3.9 0
SOCAR B. Wilds 20 79 4.0 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TENN V. Pearson 8 121 15.1 1
SOCAR P. Cooper 4 47 11.8 1
TDs Player TD
TENN A. Kamara 2
SOCAR J. Adams 1
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
TENN J. Dobbs 58.5 1525 14 9
SOCAR P. Orth 63.3 661 0 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
TENN J. Hurd 114 435 3.8 2
SOCAR A. Turner 68 300 4.4 2
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
TENN J. Malone 22 402 18.3 5
SOCAR H. Hurst 31 397 12.8 0
TDs Player TD
TENN J. Dobbs 6
SOCAR A. Turner 3

Quickchart Matchup

Tennessee Off vs  South Carolina Def
393.6 yards
394.7 yards
4 yards/rush
5 yards/rush
7.4 yards/attempt
5.6 yards/attempt
South Carolina Off vs  Tennessee Def
317.4 yards
427.1 yards
3.3 yards/rush
5.2 yards/rush
6.6 yards/attempt
6.5 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Tennessee Overall South Carolina
5-2-0 W/L 3-4-0
3-4-0 ATS 3-4-0
5-2-0 O/U 2-5-0
30.4 Pts For 16.9
29.9 Pts Against 21.3
Tennessee A/H South Carolina
2-1 W/L 2-2
2-1-0 ATS 2-2-0
3-0-0 O/U 2-2-0
39.0 Pts For 20.2
33.3 Pts Against 23.8