South Carolina had advantages going into this game, one by playing at home and two by playing a defense that’s 10th in the league in rushing allowed. A third one was taken away, though, and that may signal a closer game than first thought.
If Justin Worley were playing, the Gamecocks’ decrepit pass-rush would have a chance to break out. With only eight sacks all year and going against a very young offensive line, plus knowing Worley will hang in the pocket until doomsday, this was the Gamecocks’ game to get better, lit up with Christmas (Halloween?) lights.
Well, Worley isn’t going to play, not unless a miracle happens. That means it’s Josh Dobbs, that means it’s a running quarterback, and that means USC’s defense sizably gulped when it found out.
The Gamecocks know UT’s staff has examined the film and know that they have severe problems defending the zone-read, stopping any runner who picks the middle lane or simply, basic offense. Dobbs gives the Vols a new dimension.
Auburn proved that USC can score with anyone, but it didn’t prove that it could win a shootout. The good thing there is Tennessee isn’t Auburn.
USC will get some stops (don’t ask me how) and have its offense firing as well as last week. Black jerseys and black pants will be looked on as a good-luck charm because they’ll do what the Gamecocks did so often in all-garnet or other combos – win.
SOUTH CAROLINA 35, TENNESSEE 24