I have seen many UT-S. Carolina games that were one-sided, but never for S. Carolina! The Vols played one of the worst games I can remember Saturday night as they lost to the Gamecocks in Columbia 27-6. With this loss Tennessee falls to 3-6 for the season, 1-5 in the SEC.
I have commented all season on how poorly the UT offense has performed. Saturday’s showing was the worst thus far. Aside from a few good plays the offense just looked out of sync. The offensive line, which was supposed to be one of the best in the SEC this year, gave up 6 sacks. That is 2 more than they yielded all of last season! When QB Nick Stephens did have time in the pocket he didn’t do too much. He went 10-of-24 for 134 yards and threw 1 pick. Jonathan Crompton made a brief appearance (after Stephens threw the interception and made some comments on the sideline) and was 5-of-8 for 39 yards. Rushing was not much better. Arian Foster led the way with 14 carries for 56 yards. He did score the Vols only TD of the game. The Tennessee offense managed to put up only 207 total yards for the game. Part of this was the inability to convert on third-down (only 3-of-14). It was an ugly performance!
The defense played fairly well. It wasn’t one of their best games as they gave up 101 yards on the ground. They did hold SC to a total of 255 offensive yards and stepped up on third-down conversions allowing only 4-of-17. Eric Berry had another interception, (I believe that makes 6 on the season) which he returned 45 yards. Unfortunately, as usual this year, the offense could not capitalize on the turnover.
One high note was punter Britton Colquitt’s 71 yard boot. He averaged 45.3 yards per punt in the game.
Up next for the Vols is a non-conference homecoming game against Wyoming. It will be interesting to see the attendance at this game. Considering the poor performance of the Vols thus far I don’t anticipate a sellout crowd. No comments on coach Fulmer’s job, but I think the loss to S. Carolina probably sealed the deal. My prediction is that he will be allowed to finish out the season, and then Tennessee will be looking for a replacement. Whatever happens I’m still out there pulling for my Alma Mater. So….