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Wisdom from the Other Side: at Tennessee

Sorry for the light, or nonexistent, posting over the last couple of days. I had a death in the family and have only now gotten around to putting up some stuff for the Tennessee game. I hope to do more for the other two games in the Orange Crush, but I can't say I'm particularly disappointed in what I did for the matchup with the Vols, given the situation.

That said, vol.freak over at VolNation was kind enough to answer a few questions about the Rotund One's program. Be sure to check out my attempts at dispersing wisdom over at their blog.

Spurrier or not, South Carolina has not had a great deal of success against Tennessee. Do Vols fans regard the Gamecocks as a threat or as a nuisance?

I don't think many thought South Carolina could come in here two years ago and win but they did. Granted, 2005 was the worst season that Tennessee has had in quite some time, but it was a win nonetheless. Anytime Tennessee plays a Spurrier coached team, Vol fans consider it a threat. Consider Spurrier's record against Fulmer and the fact that Steve is the only coach to beat Tennessee in Knoxville with three different teams.

After the Georgia win, I kind of figured Fulmer's job was safe. Was that perception correct, and has anything changed after the Alabama loss?

Many thought that the Georgia win went a long way toward helping Fumler's cause. Personally, I think it was the other way around. Fulmer had to win that game to have a chance to save his job down the stretch. If he would have lost to GA, it might have been impossible. Phil still may be able to survive with a late run and a bowl victory, however I think the magnitude of the losses to our two biggest rivals will play a big part in sealing his fate.

We can only hope his successor orders donuts by the case.

Tennessee's defense has been, er, less than ideal on the road, but better at home. Coincident, function of schedule, or real difference?

That's a great question, one that many of us would like to know the answer to. Before the Bama game, I would probably argue that Florida and Cal were just better teams than anyone else we were playing and Georgia was overrated. However, I really don't feel that Alabama is very good on offense so I'm starting to believe that this defense struggles more on the road. Regardless, it should be an interesting matchup this weekend between SC's recently woeful offense and the Vols pathetic defense.

List three things Tennessee must do to win Saturday.

  1. Run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. Tennessee gave up on the run WAAAAY to early against Bama even though Arian Foster was averaging 7 yards per carry.
  1. Stop the run. I believe it's a factor in most conference games.
  1. Play aggressive on defense. Tennessee gave the Alabama receivers way too much cushion on the outside last week. Our linebackers played soft and were in more of a read and react mode rather than and attack mode. Our front four must get some pressure on the quarterback.

This is pretty much what the Tide WRs looked like last week.

Name a player South Carolina fans haven't heard of who will have a big impact for better or for worse on the game.

Gerald Jones is a true freshman receiver that is very talented. He had some hamstring issues earlier this season and it was thought that we would redshirt. I was surprised to see him enter the Alabama game but now that he has played, I expect to see him a lot down the stretch.

And of course, your prediction.

Tennessee 31, SC 17