COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Will Muschamp told his team that focused preparation could make the difference in the football game, and that proved correct.
The Gamecocks were two-touchdown underdogs, but they played a cleaner, sharper game than No. 18-ranked Tennessee, and that led to a 24-21 win at Williams-Brice Stadium on Saturday night.
“Our guys played their guts out tonight,” said Muschamp, whose Gamecocks improved to 4-4 overall and 2-4 in the SEC. “I’m very pleased with our guys’ efforts, and they have continued to fight.”
South Carolina didn’t commit any turnovers and never trailed in the game.
Tennessee was playing to stay in contention for the SEC East Division title, but the Gamecocks said they were highly motivated, too.
“Our game plan was to come in and shut down the run and make (Josh) Dobbs beat us throwing the ball,” South Carolina linebacker T.J. Holloman said. “As we saw today, our defensive line got after him and he had a lot of problems trying to get rid of the ball.
“We needed this win tonight.”
Linebacker Bryson Allen-Williams said revenge was sweet after UT won the previous three games by a field goal or less.
“This is my third year here and the last two times we’ve played Tennessee we’ve kind of let them get the win at the end of the game,” Allen-Williams said. “So it meant a lot to finish out this game and it means a lot for the future of our program.”