KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee football puts its season on the line Saturday at Neyland Stadium against South Carolina.
The Vols (3-2, 0-2 SEC) need a win over the Gamecocks (4-2, 2-2) in the worst of ways after a 41-0 loss to No. 5 Georgia two weeks ago.
Tennessee coach Butch Jones declared all positions open during the bye week, and he stayed true to his word, promoting redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano to first-string duties.
South Carolina has had issues with mobile quarterbacks in losses to Kentucky and Texas A&M, and the Vols’ fifth-year coach surely took note of that.
Regardless of who is behind center, Tennessee looks to put the ball in the hands of its most dangerous offensive player, tailback John Kelly.
Kelly, a junior from Detroit, is one of only two tailbacks in the nation to lead his team in rushing and receiving. Heisman Trophy favorite Saquon Barkley at Penn State is the other.
Tennessee’s defense figures to have a different look with Austin Smith returning from a knee injury he suffered in August. A projected starting outside linebacker, Smith is expected to get snaps in the Vols’ pressure package on third-and-long situations.
Tennessee football vs. South Carolina, game time, details
- Time: Noon ET
- Date: Saturday, October 14
- Location: Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
What channel is Tennessee-South Carolina on?
ESPN is televising the football game between Tennessee and South Carolina.
How can I watch Tennessee-South Carolina online?
Fans can go to WatchESPN for online viewing of the Tennessee-Georgia game.
How can I listen to Tennessee-South Carolina on the radio?
You can listen to the Tennessee broadcast on the Vol Network, with Bob Kesling and Tim Priest on the call. The Vols-Gamecocks football game also is on satellite radio, Sirius Channel 137 and XM Channel 190.
Who is calling Tennessee-South Carolina for ESPN?
Mark Neely will handle play-by-play duties and Tommy Tuberville will provide analysis for the Tennessee-South Carolina football game.
What you need to know about Tennessee-South Carolina
• The last five games in the Tennessee-South Carolina series have been decided by 3 points or fewer.
• Vols redshirt freshman quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is making his first career start.
• Tennessee’s defense allows 129.2 passing yards per game, the third-fewest in the nation.
• Vols sophomore linebacker Daniel Bituli averages 9.2 tackles per game, second in the SEC.
• Tennessee is 14-6 in its last 20 games — only Alabama (19-1) and Georgia (15-5) are better, while LSU and Auburn are also 14-6 in that span.
• Vols punter Trevor Daniel ranks second in the country with a 47.3 yards-per-punt average.
• Tennessee tailback John Kelly leds the SEC in all-purpose yards and yards from scrimmage at 144.6.
• The Vols lead the SEC and are ninth in the country in kick return average (28.3), even though star return man Evan Berry hasn’t played since the opening game.
• Tennessee is missing seven starters for the game on account of injuries/suspension: RT Chance Hall (knee), WR Jauan Jennings (wrist), KR Evan Berry (knee), DE Darrell Taylor (suspension), MLB Darrin Kirkland (knee), OLB Cortez McDowell (wrist), SS Todd Kelly Jr. (knee).
• The Vols are 21-10 at home under Butch Jones, including a 13-4 mark since the start of the 2015 season.
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