South Carolina vs Tennessee – Game Recap – Oct 9, 2021

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – – Part of the process of growing a college football program is to make the players believe.

Tennessee’s last two wins in the Southeastern Conference have played an important role in the development of freshman coach Josh Heupel’s squad.

The Volunteers (4-2, 2-1) 45-20 victory over South Carolina (3-3, 0-3) on Saturday was the first time since 2016 that they have scored more than 40 points (including a 62 -24 over Missouri last week) in consecutive SEC games.

“Our guys care about each other,” Heupel said. “They are proud; develop very good habits. Like I said last week, a win like this helps buy-in. If the players buy into the process, the results will come. “

Quarterback Hendon Hooker was instrumental in the buy-in. The transfer from Virginia Tech, now 3-1 as a starter, threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another.

Flights running back Tiyon Evans ran for 119 yards and a touchdown before leaving midway through the third quarter with an injury. Tennessee were leading 35-0 by the end of the first half before the Gamecocks made a run.

“Hendon continues to take complete control of the running game, the passing game and taking care of the football,” Heupel said. “The players around him reacted positively. “

Hooker hit Jalin Hyatt, JaVonta Payton and Velus Jones for three, 39 and 21 yard touchdown passes, respectively.

TO TAKE THEM

South Carolina: The ability to execute the ball consistently is a challenge the Gamecocks face in the process of building a solid schedule under the guidance of first-year head coach Shane Beamer. After gaining 254 yards in Game 1, USC had run no more than 102 yards in its other four games. Against Tennessee, ranked No. 24 against the run, the Gamecocks gained 153 yards.

Tennessee: A booming program under the guidance of first-year head coach Josh Heupel, Tennessee has proven it can be dominant among lower-level teams on SEC teams. The next step will come next week when Ole Miss, a quality team, comes to town.

HELLO ON CAMPUS

When the 1998 Tennessee National Championship team struggled along the way, they turned to Captain Al Wilson for his leadership skills. Wilson will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December. Saturday was his salvation on campus. A highlight of the festivities was Wilson leading the team on the Flight Walk, which winds through campus on its way to the stadium. Wilson, who wore the number 27, had his number painted on the 27-meter line on both sides of the pitch as well as a plaque on the bricks surrounding the stadium.

STILL LOOKING

South Carolina has played soccer for 115 consecutive years. This is the Gamecocks’ 30th season in the SEC, joining the league with Arkansas. During those 30 years, they racked up a 99-137-1 record. The No.100 victory could come next week against Vanderbilt.

ELITE COMPANY

Flights quarterback Hendon Hooker threw three touchdown passes in the first quarter. He’s thrown at least two touchdown passes in Tennessee’s last five games. The last Flights quarterback to do so was Tyler Bray in 2012.

NO SCRIPT

Saturday’s victory at Tennessee did not follow the trend that had been popular in the last nine meetings between South Carolina and Tennessee. Since 2012, eight of the last nine games have been decided by six points or less. The teams had divided those eight close games.

FOLLOWING

South Carolina: The Gamecocks may have their best chance of entering the SEC’s winning column when they entertain Vanderbilt next Saturday.

Tennessee: Suffice it to say there will be plenty of action at Neyland Stadium next Saturday night when the Flights host Ole Miss. These two teams lead the Power 5 teams in average games per minute (2.89).

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