Here’s a couple quick thoughts on South Carolina’s win over Tennessee.
What it means: #13 South Carolina wins its seventh game of the season and fifth game in the SEC. Tennessee falls to 3-5 overall and 0-5 in the SEC. This was a much bigger game for Derek Dooley than South Carolina or Steve Spurrier. The question remains about Dooley’s future tenure in Knoxville. Tennessee will not finish with eight wins now, and it all but seems over for Dooley in Knoxville. Bring on more Jon Gruden rumors…starting now. The biggest loss of the day, however, was Marcus Lattimore’s gruesome injury.
What I liked: Connor Shaw bounced back nicely from two very rough starts against LSU and Florida in two losses. However, Shaw threw for 356 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He picked on Vols’ safety Byron Moore all day. In addition, we knew South Carolina would have to run the football better. After rushing for slightly over 30 yards against LSU and Florida, the Gamecocks bounced back with 152 today.
Tennessee never stopped fighting, despite being down two touchdowns at halftime, and the offensive line did a fabulous job on South Carolina’s defensive ends.
What I didn’t like: Marcus Lattimore’s injury put a damper on the entire day. It looked terrible, and we just hope that it’s not as bad as it looked. He’s a great young man, and I’ve never heard him talk about himself before…it’s always about other people. The entire country, especially us here at SDS, hope Lattimore can make a full recovery from his injury.
Tennessee’s defense was just mauled by the Gamecocks. Carolina amassed 515 total yards.
Who’s the man: Tyler Bray has taken a hit this season for being a knucklehead, but you have to credit Bray for rebounding and stepping up when his team needed it the most. Bray finished with 368 yards, four touchdowns and one interception. In a losing effort, Bray was very good.
Key play: Tennessee was driving late in the fourth quarter, and the best defensive player in the country Jadeveon Clowney forced a fumble on Tyler Bray to end the threat.
What’s next: South Carolina gets a much-needed week off before playing Arkansas, and Tennessee returns next week to play non-conference Troy. The Vols are undefeated in non-conference games thus far, but the biggest question surrounds Dooley and his tenure.