Scouting the Gamecocks’ next opponent: The Tennessee Volunteers
10/13/2013 8:40 PM
10/13/2013 8:50 PM
WHEN: Noon, Saturday
SERIES: Tennessee leads 22-7-2
LAST YEAR: South Carolina had to hold on for a 38-35 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium despite taking a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Gamecocks, who lost tailback Marcus Lattimore to a season-ending knee injury in the game, piled up 510 years of offense as quarterback Connor Shaw passed for 356 yards and three TDs.
COACH: Butch Jones. In his first season at Tennessee, Jones made the jump after three successful seasons each at Central Michigan and Cincinnati. With a career 53-30 record, Jones has won four conference championships in his career and led his teams to three Top 25 finishes. He also took five of his six teams to bowl games.
QUICK TAKE: With a week off after a 34-31 overtime loss to Georgia, the Volunteers enter this game looking for their first statement victory in the Jones era. Their three losses have come at the hands of ranked teams: Oregon, Florida and Georgia. The schedule doesn’t get any easier with top-ranked Alabama on deck.
ROCKY TOP: Tennessee is 9-4 in its past 13 games at Neyland Stadium. With 102,455 in attendance against Georgia, the Volunteers have posted a crowd of 100,000 or more in 18 straight seasons. Tennessee donned its new Smokey Gray uniforms for the first time against Georgia. The Vols last wore an alternate uniform on Oct. 31, 2009, when they put on black jerseys against South Carolina and scored their last win against a ranked opponent (31-13). Tennessee is averaging 32 points and 375 yards per game, while its defense is allowing 28 points and 416 yards per game.
VOLUNTEERS TO WATCH
RB RAJION NEAL: The senior has rushed for 616 yards and seven touchdowns this season, including three 100-yard games. He gained 148 yards and scored two touchdowns against Georgia.
LB A.J. JOHNSON: The junior recorded a season-high 12 tackles against Georgia to run his season total to 47 this season and 265 tackles in his career. He has produced double-digit tackle totals in 15 of 30 career games.
QB JUSTIN WORLEY: The junior from Northwestern High has completed 82-of-147 passes for 940 yards with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.
DB BRIAN RANDOLPH: The sophomore has made 44 tackles, two for loss, and picked off three passes while deflecting four others.
Compiled by Neil White
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