Tennessee Vs. South Carolina Preview: Put Up or Shut Up Time for Everyone

Kevin C. Cox

South Carolina and Tennessee have a lot to prove in this game. One team is capable of proving it

Tennessee Volunteers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

Very rarely do you get a game where the perception of two teams is so different, and yet both teams have something to prove. Tennessee is coming off a three-game losing streak that's not totally unexpected but nonetheless has them fighting for a bowl berth. South Carolina's two-game skid was also foreseeable, even if the margin against Florida has raised questions about just how good the Gamecocks really are.

In some ways, it's also an old storyline: The team with the explosive offense (Tennessee) against the team with the solid defense (South Carolina). Even after giving up 44 points to Florida, South Carolina averages giving up just 16.3 points a game, and the Gators didn't significantly alter the Gamecocks' yardage averages -- largely because offensive turnovers turned the game into a rout. Tennessee, meanwhile, has scored fewer than 40 points just twice -- against Florida and Alabama. But when you rank 14th in total defense, the ability to score a bunch of points isn't necessarily going to get you to victory.

But even if you're wary about intangibles, what has to make you think that South Carolina will win this game decisively is the setting. The last team to beat South Carolina at home was Auburn more than a year ago. The Gamecocks are 27-5 at Williams-Brice since the beginning of the 2008 season. The one thing they don't need to prove is that they play well in Columbia.

South Carolina 34, Tennessee 20

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Team Speed Kills

You must be a member of Team Speed Kills to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Team Speed Kills. You should read them.

Join Team Speed Kills

You must be a member of Team Speed Kills to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Team Speed Kills. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker