For the first time in 87 years the Vols donned black jerseys as the South Carolina Gamecocks rolled into Knoxville for a Halloween night match-up. The black jerseys proved to be good luck for the Vols as they capitalized off 3 SC turnovers and cruised to a 31-13 victory.
The big story in the game was the Carolina turnovers. The Vols turned 3 SC fumbles into 3 TD’s. That sparked the Vols early and they just kept on rolling. The offense played a solid game with few mistakes. QB Jonathan Crompton went 12-of-24 for 142 yards and 2 TD. He did not throw an interception in the game. The running game for the Vols was huge, as Montario Hardesty carried 23 times for 121 yards and 2 TD. Freshman Bryce Brown added 60 yards on 9 carries.
The UT kicking game continued to suffer as Daniel Lincoln had his 3rd straight field goal attempt blocked (2 in the Alabama game and 1 against SC). Fortunately for the Vols Lane Kiffin opted to allow Chad Cunningham to try a field goal in the fourth quarter from 39 yards which was good.
Once again the Vols defense stepped up and played a great game. They held the Gamecocks to only 65 rushing yards and only allowed 1 TD. Carolina QB Stephen Garcia was pressured all night and took several big hits. The Vols defense has only allowed 2 offensive touchdowns in their last 12 quarters.
Saturday’s win over South Carolina moves the Vols to 4-4 on the year and gives them hope for the remainder if the season. With only 4 games left to play the Vols are in position to finish the season with a 5 game win streak. The toughest opponent still to face, in my opinion, is Ole Miss in 2 weeks. I’ve seen them play their last few games and they have not looked great. I think the Vols are playing much better football right now and are poised to finish the season strong.