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Jake Bentley has thrown 12 touchdown passes through seven games this season.

2017 SEC Country Power Poll: Where South Carolina is ranked (Week 7)

Hale McGranahan

The South Carolina football team improved its record to 5-2 (3-2 SEC) with a 15-9 win over Tennessee at Neyland Stadium on Saturday.

“Overall, it was an outstanding win,” coach Will Muschamp said. “You win one on the road in this league, especially Neyland Stadium, you’ve got to be proud of the victory.”

On Sunday, the Gamecocks returned to the No. 9 spot in the Week 7 SEC Country Power Poll, but they lost No. 5 in the fifth win of the season.

The injuries woes continued in Knoxville when sophomore running back Rico Dowdle went down with fractured fibula, the same injury that’s sidelined junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel and junior tight end K.C. Crosby.

RELATED: What Will Muschamp said on Sunday

With a bye week on the horizon, South Carolina will have time for a number of other injured players to recover.

Offensive linemen Zack Bailey, Cory Helms and Malik Young, all of whom have missed multiple games with ankle injuries, are expected to be back after the break. Muschamp isn’t sure which players, all of whom were starters before going down, will return to the first five.

“The best friend I have is competition,” Muschamp said. “Those guys need to compete, to earn their jobs. Whoever the best five that give us an opportunity to win the game, that’s who we’ll go with.”

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Junior wide receiver Terry Googer is also expected to return to action, after exiting the Texas A&M game with a head/neck injury. Freshman wide receiver Chad Terrell (ankle) will be evaluated during the week of the Vanderbilt game.

Following the off week, the Gamecocks return home to Williams-Brice Stadium for a showdown with the Commodores. On Monday, SEC will announce kickoff times for that week’s game.

Your Week 7 Power Poll rankings

Results are below:

1Alabama (11 - 0)32525111
2Georgia (10 - 1)3000222
3Auburn (9 - 2)2550335
4Texas A&M (7 - 4)2530437
5LSU (8 - 3)2310537
6Mississippi State (8 - 3)17907412
7Kentucky (7 - 4)1650869
8Florida (4 - 6)1610669
9South Carolina (8 - 3)15109610
10Ole Miss (5 - 6)77013913
11Tennessee (4 - 7)670101014
12Arkansas (4 - 7)65012913
13Vanderbilt (4 - 7)320111014
14Missouri (6 - 5)140141014

This week's voters:

Alex Hickey (SEC Country)
Alex Martin Smith (SEC Country)
Andrew Astleford (SEC Country)
Ben Wolk (SEC Country)
Blake Morgan
Brandon Walker (SEC Country)
Chris Kirschner (SEC Country)
Christopher Walsh (SEC Country)
Eric Bolin (SEC Country)
Hale McGranahan (SEC Country)
Jeff Sentell (DawgNation)
Joe Mussatto (SEC Country)
Jordan Mcpherson (SEC Country)
Justin Ferguson (SEC Country)
Ken Bradley (SEC Country)
Marq Burnett (SEC Country)
Mike Bambach
Mike Griffith (SEC Country)
Nick Suss
Pete Scantlebury
Ryan Young
Sam Spiegelman
Thomas Neumann (SEC Country)
Trent Shadid (SEC Country)
Zach Abolverdi (SEC Country)