Fresh off a 45-point dismantling of the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Carolina Gamecocks open this week as about a touchdown favorite over the Tennessee Volunteers.
The Vols look to build on a solid performance against the Georgia Bulldogs and a bye week. The bye is normally considered a time where teams get healthy and contributors return, but Tennessee interestingly lost two players over the last week, as primary kick returner/wide receiver Vincent Dallas and backup offensive lineman Alan Posey left the team.
The Volunteers will be led by Justin Worley of Rock Hill, South Carolina. Not recruited by the Gamecocks out of high school (the Gamecocks settled on departed Tanner McEvoy), Worley fell flat in his first start against the Gamecocks in Knoxville, a 14-3 Carolina victory in 2011. He's coming off a terrific performance against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Volunteers don't have a lot of options behind him given their injury situation at QB - if Worley goes down, Tennessee will have to pull the redshirt off of one of their two true freshman quarterbacks.
It will be interesting to see if the Volunteers look more like the team that went toe-to-toe with Georgia, or the squad that could barely hold off South Alabama a few weeks ago. On the other hand, the Gamecock offense will look to keep rolling behind Connor Shaw and Mike Davis, while the defense will look to build on its impressive performance against the Razorbacks.