Tennessee-South Carolina Preview Capsule
No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) at South Carolina (3-4, 1-4), 7:20 p.m. (ESPN2)
Line: Tennessee by 13½.
Series Record: Tennessee leads 25-7-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Tennessee is looking to stay in the SEC Eastern Division hunt and bounce back in a big way after two disheartening losses to No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama. South Carolina coach Will Muschamp hopes to build momentum after his team snapped a three-game losing streak with a 34-28 win over UMass last Saturday.
Tennessee’s defensive line vs. South Carolina QB Jake Bentley. South Carolina’s freshman passer had a strong debut last week against the Minutemen. The Vols and DE Derek Barnett are an entirely stronger challenge for the Gamecocks.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tennessee: Joshua Dobbs. The senior quarterback made a name for himself two years ago at South Carolina, leading the Vols back from a two touchdown deficit in the final five minutes before winning 45-42 in overtime. Dobbs has since gone 16-7 as Tennessee’s starter.
South Carolina: Jake Bentley. The freshman threw for two touchdowns and 201 yards in his first college game last week. South Carolina only had two touchdown passes all season before Bentley’s game.
FACTS & FIGURES
One of the closest contested series in the SEC with the past four meetings decided by a total of 11 points ... Tennessee is looking to start its latest late-season run after winning four of its final five in 2014 and its last six games a season ago. ... South Carolina had its best rushing performance of the season in its last game, gaining 194 yards against UMass. ... The Gamecocks also scored more than 20 points for the first time all season last week, moving up one spot to 127th in Football Bowl Subdivision scoring average.
AP college football website: collegefootball.ap.org