Josh Kendall

South Carolina has to take back fourth quarter against Volunteers

South Carolina wants a fast start on Saturday against Tennessee.

The young Gamecocks need something good to happen early, and the Volunteers had a habit of napping early in games. That would give South Carolina, which is a 13-point underdog, some hope of an upset.

More importantly, though, as Gamecocks freshman tailback A.J. Turner pointed out, South Carolina needs a fast finish.

“We have to start fast but most importantly we have to end fast, too,” Turner said. “We have to stay focused throughout the whole game. We need to work on finishing strong.”

The Gamecocks have been outscored 57-30 in the fourth quarter this season. Tennessee, meanwhile, has outscored opponents 90-42 in the fourth quarter and 138-70. (Back to our previous point, the Volunteers have been outscored 76-17 in the first quarter this year.)

South Carolina, which has lost to Tennessee three straight years by a combined eight points, needs little reminder of how the Vols can sneak up on teams late in the game.