Let’s say, for the sake of argument, Tennessee decides to do something crazy.
The Volunteers are 3-3 overall and 0-2 in the SEC heading into Saturday’s game against South Carolina. They have lost 16 of their last 18 SEC games. They can’t find a quarterback, no offense to starter and Rock Hill native Justin Worley.
Still, Tennessee has had two weeks to prepare for the No. 11 Gamecocks thanks to their open date last week. The week before that was a 34-31 overtime loss to Georgia in Neyland Stadium. My question is: Will first-year head coach Butch Jones take that as a sign of progress and think if he just stays the course he’s got a chance to beat South Carolina? Or, will Jones think, “That’s about as good as we can play under our current setup so let’s get wacky.”?
I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the latter. What changes could Tennessee make? Well, it could replace Worley, but it tried that once and Nathan Peterman was worse. Peterman is now fourth team, so maybe freshman Joshua Dobbs or freshman Riley Ferguson gets a shot next.
Or, the Vols could have seen the success Kentucky, and to a lesser extent Arkansas, had against the Gamecocks with the Wildcat quarterback formation and line up wide receiver Pig Howard or tailback Rajion Neal as a single wing and hope for the best.
For some reason, I think Tennessee will try something like that, but I don’t think it will matter in a 30-17 South Carolina win.
Around the SEC:
It’s actually a slow down around the SEC, although I found this interesting at a stat geek: Alabama has a set target for yards of carry it is acceptable to allow. The magic number is 3.3 or less.