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Tennessee football vs. South Carolina: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Volunteers battle Gamecocks

Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to pass during a game against the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers at Neyland Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennesee won the game 59-3. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)
Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to pass during a game against the East Tennessee State University Buccaneers at Neyland Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennesee won the game 59-3. (Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will try for its third consecutive win over Tennessee when it hosts Saturday's matchup, but if recent history is any indication, it won’t come easily. The last six meetings between the SEC East rivals have been decided by six points or fewer, including five by no more than a field goal.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network. LINE: South Carolina -7.5

 

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Both teams’ bowl hopes could hinge on Saturday’s contest after both played inconsistently during the first half of the season. The Gamecocks enjoyed a bye last week following a tough 26-23 loss at Texas A&M on Oct. 13. The Volunteers are coming off a 58-21 home loss to top-ranked Alabama and have lost three of their last four contests, although the win was a 30-24 upset at Auburn. Tennessee is looking to win back-to-back road games for the first time since 2015 and trying for its first win at South Carolina since 2014.

ABOUT TENNESSEE (3-4, 1-3 SEC)

The Vols’ offense has sputtered against strong competition, except the victory at Auburn - in which quarterback Jarrett Guarantano passed for 328 yards and two touchdowns. Guarantano, who made his first career start in last year’s 15-9 home loss to Gamecocks, has thrown just six touchdown passes and two interceptions and needs more help from the SEC’s worst ground attack. The defense hasn’t been too much better, allowing at least 440 total yards in three straight games - including 545 against the Crimson Tide.

ABOUT SOUTH CAROLINA (3-3, 2-3)

The Gamecocks have been hurt by the SEC’s worst turnover margin at minus-5, as their 12 giveaways are tied for the second-most in the conference. The passing game has been effective with Jake Bentley throwing to a group of dangerous receivers led by Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, although he has been intercepted seven times. The defense’s weakness has been stopping the run, but the secondary was torched for a season-high 353 passing yards in the loss to Texas A&M.

EXTRA POINTS

1. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp is 6-0 lifetime against Tennessee dating to his tenure at Florida.

2. Tennessee is the only FBS team that does not have at least one start by a senior on offense.

3. The Gamecocks have held opponents to a 24.7 percent conversion rate on third down, which is fourth-best in the FBS.

PREDICTION: South Carolina 30, Tennessee 27

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