Tennessee comes to Columbia with a No. 16 ranking in the Associated Press preseason poll, owing to its 8-5 (5-3 SEC) finish last year that included a Gator Bowl victory over Indiana. Pundits have deemed the Vols to be in varying stages of Back, and quarterback Jarrett Guarantano returns to lead the UT offense for what feels like the eighth consecutive year.
The Gamecocks, of course, will be looking to improve upon last year’s 4-8 (3-5 SEC) result, and will start the season with veteran transfer Collin Hill taking the reins at quarterback. We’ll see how a new offensive coordinator paired with an experienced quarterback fares against Tennessee’s strong defense.
Like Vegas, ESPN’s FPI also sees this game as a toss up, giving South Carolina a 53.2% chance to come away with the win. It’s rare that a USC-UT game goes off without at least some shenanigans, so we’ll see if this traditionally Halloween-adjacent contest still gets spooky.
The line has seen a little movement toward the Gamecocks, as it originally opened with the Vols as 3-point favorites.
The over/under is set at 48.