The return of JerQuari Schofield (a South Carolina native) bodes well for UT but the Gamecocks still have more proven talent and experience across the blocking front.
On his good days, Matt Simms is just as efficient as SC's Stephen Garcia. On his bad days, he's just as inept as Stephen Garcia. Who the heck knows which QBs will show up Saturday?
Marcus Lattimore is getting loads of publicity but he's averaging 4.4 yards per carry, whereas Tennessee's Tauren Poole is averaging 5.5. Both are exceptional receivers out of the backfield. Too close to call.
Gerald Jones and Justin Hunter give UT a nice 1-2 punch but South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery is a 6-4, 237-pound matchup nightmare.
The Gamecocks have the SEC's No. 2 run defense and a league-best 24 sacks this fall. At their current pace, the Vols might have 24 sacks by November of next season.
UT's Nick Reveiz is a lock for double-digit stops each game. Five of SC's top six tacklers are defensive backs. That suggests the linebackers aren't being very productive.
South Carolina ranks dead last among the 12 SEC teams in pass defense, allowing foes to complete a whopping 66.5 percent of their passes for 252.4 yards per game. Tennessee isn't much better. Still ...
Statistics show that both teams are OK at punting and field-goal kicking, mediocre at returning kickoffs and punts. It's a wash.
South Carolina has the home-field advantage and a great shot at winning the SEC East this fall. Tennessee is simply hoping to get to 6-6 and qualify for a bowl game.
Steve Spurrier hasn't forgotten the 31-13 whipping UT put on him last fall. It's payback time. Cocks, 27-17.
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