South Carolina heads back on the road on Saturday to face Tennessee aiming to knock off a preseason SEC East contender. Here’s the betting line, how to watch online and other things you need to know about the game:
Who: South Carolina (4-2, 2-2 SEC) at Tennessee (3-2, 0-2)
When: Noon Saturday
Where: Neyland Stadium (102,455), Knoxville, Tenn.
Series history: Tennessee leads 25-8-2. The Gamecocks broke a four-game Vols streak last season, and the past five meetings have been been decided by a combined 14 points.
TV: ESPN (Mike Patrick, play-by-play; Tommy Tuberville, analysis; Paul Carcaterra, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline)
Satellite radio: Sirius 137/XM 190
Odds: Volunteers by 3
Weather: A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, temperatures in the low-70s at kickoff and around 80 by the game’s end.
What’s at stake
South Carolina got the win it needed to clear a bowl path and now has a chance to score an upset of a division opponent with a lofty history. The Gamecocks won last year’s meeting and are looking for their first streak in the series since three wins in a row from 2010-12.
The Volunteers’ Butch Jones era seems to be on life support. They’ve already taken a gut-punch loss with a Hail Mary from Florida and been buried by Georgia. Losses to Alabama, LSU or someone else down the road could clinch things, but the Gamecocks have put the last nail in tenures of far more successful Tennessee coaches.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds. Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds./Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley did not look good in the early going against Arkansas, but he struck back with a vengeance. The Volunteers have been solid against the pass, but Bentley has thrown for 1,456 yards, 12 scores and four interceptions
2. Sophomore tailback Rico Dowdle returned healthy and posted his best game against the Razorbacks. He’s got only 187 yards on 56 carries, but could prove valuable against a Volunteers defense that often keeps its safeties back.
3. Sophomore linebacker T.J. Brunson will be key in helping control John Kelly, the Tennessee tailback who got his first real action in Columbia last season and has grown into one of the best backs in the conference. Brunson has a team-high 49 tackles with a pair of fumble recoveries.
Tennessee players to watch
1. Junior tailback John Kelly is pretty much the dude. The 5-foot-9, 205-pounder has run for 494 yards, more than 400 ahead of any other Vols runner, and leads the team with 22 receptions and 229 yards.
2. Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano will reportedly replace Quinten Dormady after a bad start. Guarantano is unproven and lacks the resumé with only 54 yards on 24 passes and a total of 3 rushing yards.
3. Linebacker Colton Jumper has ruined quarterbacks this season, piling up 4 1/2 sacks, 33 tackles, seven for loss. He’s been productive for a defense that lost a lot of talent off last year’s unit.
Projected South Carolina depth chart
QB – Jake Bentley (Michael Scarnecchia)
RB – Ty’Son Williams (Rico Dowdle, A.J. Turner)
WR – OrTre Smith (Chad Terrell)
WR – Bryan Edwards (OrTre Smith)
WR – Shi Smith (Randrecous Davis)
TE – Hayden Hurst (Kiel Pollard)
TE – Jacob August (Evan Hinson)
LT – Dennis Daley (D.J. Park)
LG – Sadarius Hutcherson (D.J. Park)
C – Alan Knott (Chandler Farrell)
RG – Donell Stanley (Blake Camper)
RT – D.J. Park (Blake Camper)
DE – Dante Sawyer OR Keir Thomas (Aaron Sterling)
DT – Taylor Stallworth (Kobe Smith)
DT – Ulric Jones (Javon Kinlaw)
DE – D.J. Wonnum (Daniel Fennell)
LB – Daniel Fennell (Antoine Wilder)
LB – T.J. Brunson (Sherrod Greene)
LB – Skai Moore (Eldridge Thompson)
CB – Jamarcus King (Chris Lammons)
S – D.J. Smith (Javon Charleston)
S – Chris Lammons (Steven Montac)
CB – Rashad Fenton (Jamyest Williams)
NICK – Jamyest Williams (Chris Lammons)
PK – Parker White
KO – Parker White
P – Joseph Charlton (Michael Almond)
LS – Ben Asbury (Matthew Smith)
KR – Rashad Fenton (A.J. Turner)
PR – Chris Lammons (Rashad Fenton)
H – Danny Gordon (Michael Almond)