South Carolina Football: Kickoff time set for next weekend’s matchup with Tennessee

South Carolina football's quarterback Spencer Rattler. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football's quarterback Spencer Rattler. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

College football kickoff times are all about television revenue. Understanding that makes it much easier for fans to see why their favorite teams play at certain times of the day. The more rabid a fanbase is, the more night games they will get, especially in quality matchups. Shane Beamer’s South Carolina football squad will play its third night game in four weeks this weekend against Mississippi State (and the other was the CBS Game of the Week against #1-ranked Georgia).

Soon that will be four night games in five weeks.

When the Gamecocks meet up with the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday, September 30th, the Neyland Stadium crowd will have Knoxville, Tennessee abuzz for another 7:30 kickoff on the SECNetwork.

Tennessee fans and South Carolina fans are among the best in the country, and the two programs are both at a crossroads in their respective 2023 seasons.

For the Gamecocks, a 1-2 start makes this weekend’s game against Mississippi State critical as it is the first of five straight SEC contests (and 7 out of 8) before the end-of-year rivalry game with Clemson. If Carolina can pull off the win, next weekend’s game in Knoxville holds major implications for the final SEC East standings.

For the Vols, an ugly loss to the Florida Gators followed an ugly win against Austin Peay, and many who had high expectations for Josh Heupel’s team have abandoned those entirely. Tennessee has another weaker opponent in Texas-San Antonio before the South Carolina football team rolls into town to give the Vols their second real test of the year.

The major storyline in this matchup, however, is the fact that the last two meetings in this series have been lopsided blowouts. In 2021 in Knoxville, UT beat up on the Gamecocks 45-20, but Carolina returned the favor in Columbia in 2022 by scorching the Vols 63-38 and crushing their College Football Playoff chances in the process.

The non-competitive games ended a long stretch of close battles. From 2000-2020, just three South Carolina-Tennessee contests finished with a margin greater than two scores.

Tennessee and their fans will be out for revenge, and both teams will be in need of a win to help keep their preseason goals intact.

Related Story. South Carolina Football: Gamecock rival Tennessee busted for over 200 NCAA violations. light