South Carolina Football: Quick hit after loss to Tennessee

South Carolina football head coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina football head coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

After a win over Mississippi State last week, Shane Beamer’s South Carolina football team needed to continue its winning ways to position itself in a good place to stay in the SEC East race. A trip to Knoxville to take on the revenge-on-the-brain Tennessee Volunteers was going to be a tough test in the Gamecocks’ pursuit of returning to above .500 on the season.

It was even harder than expected.

A tightly contested 1st quarter gave way to a Tennessee-heavy 2nd quarter that was capped off by a pick-6 for the Vols with under a minute left in the half.

The 24-10 deficit at the intermission largely came due to Carolina’s inability to perform on the offensive line. Spencer Rattler was sacked four times in the first half, and most of his incompletions (and the interception) came as a result of pressure. Other than a 75-yard run from Mario Anderson in the 2nd half, the front didn’t get any push in the run game, either.

On defense, there were too many missed tackles for the Gamecocks, especially in the open field. That theme continued into the second half, as well. South Carolina couldn’t stop the Volunteers without Tennessee helping them by shooting themselves in the foot. When UT executed, USC couldn’t match up.

Quarterback Joe Milton didn’t play well for Tennessee, and his struggles kept South Carolina in contention for most of the night. The Gamecock defense was bailed out several times by poor passes from the Volunteer quarterback. The running game carried the day for Josh Heupel’s team as the orange and white rushed for 238 yards.

In what seemed like it could have been a much larger scoring margin, South Carolina football fell to Tennessee by a final score of 41-20.

839. Final. 20. 850. 41

The Gamecocks will have next week off before returning home to take on the Florida Gators on October 14th.