The South Carolina Gamecocks wrap up the SEC portion of their schedule tonight when the fifth-ranked Tennessee Volunteers come to Columbia. UT coach Josh Heupel and quarterback Hendon Hooker have the Vols flying high in just Heupel’s second season, a fact which has been hard for Gamecock fans to sit with. USC will certainly have its hands full in a game that it’s expected to lose by three scores – here’s how the GABA game sees it playing out.
Kody: Gotta be honest and say that I just don’t see the Gamecocks making this much of a contest, primarily for one reason: Tennessee will be hunting for style points to build its argument for the CFP committee, so the Volunteers will be keenly motivated and aren’t likely to overlook anything that could resemble a trap game. (There’s also the small matter of UT’s Jalin Hyatt, a Columbia native who wants to put on a show after his hometown program never offered him a scholarship.) South Carolina will be significantly outgunned in this one, especially with the continued absence of MarShawn Lloyd, and I just don’t see Tennessee being in a generous mood. I’ll go with UT, 41-10.
Brent: Simply put, I think that this has all the makings of being one of the worst nights in Williams Brice Stadium history. I’m talking up there with 63-17 in 2003 against Clemson, 63-7 against Florida in 1995, and 59-0 against FSU in 1988. Hammer Tennessee and the 22.5 points. I don’t know what happened following the Texas A&M game but all of the air has been sucked from the sails of the 2022 Gamecocks. I don’t know what happened but in the last three games at least one side of the football has seemed disinterested in showing up. Last week in Gainesville was a complete no show in a game that on paper South Carolina should have been competitive in, yet they were pummeled 38-6 and did not score an offensive touchdown. #5 Tennessee rolls into Columbia with a Heisman candidate at quarterback and maybe the most explosive offense in college football. ESPN’s primetime crew of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will be in town to call the game, and unfortunately I predict it will be all Tennessee talk. Carolina is missing their #1 and #2 tailback and couple that with Marcus Satterfield seemingly being a dead man walking, I don’t see the Gamecocks being able to keep up at all. I will go with Tennessee easily winning this one 55-20.
Matt: I have two perspectives to give here: one of the average person with a brain and me. To the everyday human, why wouldn’t this game be a blowout? Why shouldn’t Tennessee EASILY cover this hefty spread after how great they have been looking and how awful South Carolina has been playing? Tennessee has beaten up on better teams — LSU, for example — so why would the Cocks have any shot? “USC is injured” this, “USC needs to fire its offensive coordinator” that, and let’s not forget Jalin Hyatt wants to show up the school that didn’t offer him a scholarship! Now, let’s enter my thought process. Vegas casinos weren’t built on Tennessee blowing out an obviously weaker opponent, they were built on the Cocks covering this spread. The Cocks haven’t lost a home game, Cam Smith will shadow Hyatt and Tennessee is a pass heavy team, which plays to South Carolina’s strength. Also, I can’t envision a better time for that Spencer Rattler game than right now. Florida’s Anthony Richardson passed for 453 yards against this Volunteer defense and Alabama’s Bryce Young threw for 455. Even LSU’s Jayden Daniels threw for 300 yards in a 40-13 loss. I predict the offense will have a pulse this week and the Cocks will compete with one of the best teams in the country. Give me the Volunteers to win 38-28.
Katie: So much doom and gloom around these parts! (jokes!) I don’t have a lot of confidence in predicting a win this week, given [gestures at Tennessee’s season and ours]. That being said, I’m doing it anyway, because the Gamecocks could win! It would take a confluence of good stuff happening for South Carolina and bad stuff happening for the Vols, but theoretically it is possible! Since USC already blew it on Homecoming, they can’t lose on Senior Night too. Let’s do the thing with the winning.