South Carolina vs. Tennessee picks, plus good news on Gamecocks’ injured offensive linemen
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Predictions for South Carolina vs. Tennessee
SEC Country’s Hale McGranahan and Mike Chapman both like South Carolina’s chances to leave Neyland Stadium with a win on Saturday.
Chapman thinks the Gamecocks eke out a close one against the Volunteers, 20-17. McGranahan has South Carolina winning by a touchdown, 24-17.
“Not only do I like the matchup for the Gamecocks — look no further than last year’s success in Williams-Brice — but I wonder if there have been too many distractions lately in Knoxville, and not just during the bye week,” McGranahan writes.
Both writers emphasize the importance of South Carolina running the ball, scoring early and taking the crowd out of the game.
South Carolina injury update
According South Carolina coach Will Muschamp, right tackle Zack Bailey (ankle) and guard Cory Helms (ankle) will make the trip to Tennessee this weekend, but will be game-time decisions.
Bailey and Helms have both missed the last two games.
Junior tackle Malik Young (ankle) and junior wide receiver Terry Googer (head/neck) will not travel.
‘We have to match their intensity’
Tennessee is preparing for a confident and fearless South Carolina team, SEC Country’s Mike Griffith writes.
“We have to match their intensity, [because] obviously they have a special hate for us,” Tennessee offensive lineman Brett Kendrick said. “If we go out and act like it’s just another team, it can get us beat, so we have to match the way they feel and the way Muschamp feels. We have to go out there and do what we do and know they are trying to take our heads off.”
Vols freshman OL K’Rojhn Calbert got a behind-the-scenes look at the Gamecocks and their pregame frenzy prior to the South Carolina-Tennessee game last season. He was on an official visit to see the Gamecocks prior to committing to the Vols.
‘They need me’
Four-star linebacker Dax Hollifield took his official visit to South Carolina last weekend to watch the Gamecocks knock off Arkansas, 48-22.
As impressive as South Carolina’s defense was, it was the Gamecocks’ lack of depth that really stood out to the Shelby, N.C., native.
“They need me,” Hollifield said. “I really got to see their depth better. In their walk-through, I really got to see how it was. I mean, Sherrod Greene started, so I know I can come in — Skai Moore’s leaving, so I know I can come in and play off the bat, so that’s positive.”
The 6-foot-2 linebacker is rated as the No. 126 overall prospect in the Class of 2018, according to the 247Sports composite.
Pair of 4-star prospects return to S.C.
Four-star WR and South Carolina commit Josh Vann visited Columbia last weekend with his Tucker (Ga.) High School teammate, 4-star offensive tackle Dylan Wonnum. Wonnum is the younger brother of current South Carolina defensive end, D.J. Wonnum.
“It went good. What stood out was the game. Had a great time at the game,” the 5-11 receiver said of the trip.
Though the two are teammates, Vann hasn’t put too much pressure on Wonnum to commit to the Gamecocks.
“I haven’t done much. I don’t try to put myself too much in his recruiting process, because I know it’s his decision, even though I would love if he came,” Vann said.
Controversy on Fenton Island
Tennessee WR Tyler Byrd questioned the existence of South Carolina cornerback Rashad Fenton’s “Fenton Island” on Twitter on Thursday. Byrd’s tweet predictably drew the ire of South Carolina fans.
I just spent 30 mins trying to book a flight to “Fenton island” no air line recognized that destination I guess it doesn’t exist🤷🏾♂️🤷🏾♂️
— Tyler Byrd (@D1fuzzymuffin17) October 12, 2017
According to Brad Crawford of 247Sports, Fenton has yet to surrender a touchdown this season.
It’s not The Hit from the 2013 Outback Bowl, but former South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney’s tackle in the backfield against Tennessee in 2013 was every bit as jarring.
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