South Carolina football: Gamecocks vs. Vols series has been highly competitive

South Carolina Gamecocks face off at the line of scrimmage against the Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
South Carolina Gamecocks face off at the line of scrimmage against the Tennessee Volunteers. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

South Carolina football’s series with Tennessee has been highly competitive.

The South Carolina and Tennessee series has been one of the nation’s most competitive since the turn of the 21st century. Dating back to their meeting in 2000, the Volunteers hold a sight 12-8 advantage, with 14 of the 20 contests being decided by a touchdown or less. In the last eight games alone, six have been won by three points or less.

There have been some absolute classics over the last decade or so. Some have gone the Gamecocks’ way, while others have not. In Steve Spurrier’s first season, South Carolina got a late field goal from Josh Brown to give the Gamecocks their first ever win in Neyland Stadium. The Gamecocks won 16-15.

In 2012, there was Jadeveon Clowney’s fourth quarter strip sack of Tyler Bray as the Vols were moving towards a game-winning score. South Carolina won 38-35.

A few years later, Josh Dobbs led a comeback in Williams-Brice Stadium, helping the Vols overcome a two-score deficit in the game’s final two minutes. Tennessee would win 45-42 in overtime.

The year prior, Tennessee had ended the Gamecocks’ shot at an SEC championship by booting a 19-yard field goal as time expired. Gamecock fans won’t soon forget Marquez North’s one-handed catch to set the kick up.

This year’s contest should provide fans with more fireworks, as both teams seem evenly matched heading into the season’s first game. Tennessee ended a three-game skid to the Gamecocks last year with a 41-21 throttling. That 20-point deficit was the largest in the series in more than a decade, and South Carolina certainly hasn’t forgotten that.

The defenses, particularly the secondaries, for each team appear to be their strengths, while both squads having question marks at quarterback and wide receiver. Add in the fact that the Gamecocks are unveiling a brand new offense and you can expect this year’s contest to be a low-scoring struggle.

The Gamecocks will hope to get back in the win column on Saturday. The victor will have a leg up in the SEC East race, as well as a little confidence moving ahead to week two. The matchup is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 PM on the SEC Network.

Realistic expectations for Gamecock football. dark. Next