CBS Sports analyst Barrett Sallee joined the crew at The Spurs Up Show Saturday to discuss South Carolina football’s upcoming 2023 schedule.

There are a few important games for the Gamecocks this upcoming season as we enter Year 3 of Shane Beamer in Columbia. Week 1 against North Carolina comes to mind, as do matchups against the top of the SEC East at Georgia and at Tennessee. At Texas A&M and vs. Clemson rounds out a tough schedule for Beamer’s 2023 squad.

Sallee argued Saturday that one game stands out for the Gamecocks in 2023: Sept. 30 in Knoxville against the Volunteers.

“If South Carolina struggles early, that’s like the swing game right? Struggling early is possible, the way the schedule sets up, it can happen,” Sallee said. “It’s a revenge game for Tennessee, it’s in Knoxville, it’s a game that sort of sets up what the final 2 months can be, and I think it works that way for Tennessee as well… the winner of that game can get to a point where it’s making one of the top bowls in the SEC. You want to beat UNC, it’d be nice to beat Georgia, but that Tennessee game, that’s the one you look at and say ‘alright, what are we really?’”

See the entire conversation below:

The Vols, to put it simply, are not going to be a happy bunch when South Carolina comes to town at the end of September. South Carolina spoiled the Vols’ CFP dreams last season in the penultimate game of the regular season in Columbia, a game Tennessee was moderately favored to win despite being on the road.

Even though Hendon Hooker is gone, the Vols are still set to have a strong offense and a dangerous squad, the true indicator of which will be at the QB position. The Gamecocks will meet one of Joe Milton III or Nico Iamaleava, Tennessee’s high-caliber 5-star freshman QB, when USC comes to Knoxville in September.

Is Tennessee truly South Carolina’s most important matchup of the season, Gamecock fans?