It took Will Muschamp eight games to get his signature victory as head coach of the South Carolina football team. With a 24-21 win over the #18 Tennessee Volunteers, not only have the Gamecocks eclipsed their win total from a year ago, but they now sit at .500 with a chance to get on the right side of the median mark against a beatable Missouri team next Saturday.
The Gamecocks led 14-7 at the half and stretched it to 17-7 after a field goal by Elliott Fry with 1:45 to play in the 3rd quarter. But the Vols’ Evan Berry returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards to draw Tennessee to within 17-14. However, with 9:54 left, Jake Bentley found K.C. Crosby from 35 yards out to give the Gamecocks a 24-14 lead. Josh Dobbs would lead the Volunteers down the field to cut the deficit to 24-21 with 7:03 left, but they would get no closer as a very long last second field goal attempt by Aaron Medley - 58 yards, to be exact - wasn’t even close, and the Gamecocks were celebrating their biggest win in some time.
Bentley was 15-20 for 167 yards, two touchdowns - and no interceptions. Rico Dowdle was good for 27 carries and 127 yards; Deebo Samuel led all receivers with eight catches for 83 yards, while Bryan Edwards and Crosby had a TD catch each. Dobbs struggled throughout the contest, going just 12-26 for 162 yards and two interceptions. Tennessee was good for just 136 yards on the ground as the Gamecocks benefitted from a strong defensive output and several Vol mistakes; Tennessee committed nine penalties for 87 yards.