Tennessee and South Carolina are set to square off at noon ET, with both teams looking to earn their fourth win of the season. In recent years, this game has been a slugfest that has come down to the last possession more times than not. The VR2 on SI staff share their bold predictions here.
I have not been close on some of these to start the season. This week that changes. I am betting on Glen Elarbee's unit. The Vols are going to have success against South Carolina, but the Gamecocks are talented upfront, with guys like Kingsley Enagbare, Zacch Pickens, Jordan Burch, and M.J. Webb, while the secondary takes pride in making quarterbacks work through progressions. However, I am going to roll with the Vols OL. Despite the absence of Cooper Mays, this unit has continued to grow each week. Tennessee is not going to allow more than one sack today. I think that is a tough ask given the natural ability of South Carolina's front-seven, but Tennessee gets it done.
I was close with last week’s prediction of Hooker getting 100+ rushing yards, but this week I’m going to flip the script but stay bold with Hooker. Due to SC’s vaunted front like Matt mentioned, I’m predicting that the Vols will have their biggest passing performance of the year today, with Hendon Hooker passing for 300+ yards against the Gamecocks. A Tennessee quarterback has not accomplished this feat since Jarret Guarantano did it against Mizzou back in 2019. I like to go bolder than bold, and I could see the Vols showing a more pass happy side in Week 6.
For my bold prediction this week, I think I’m going to have to stick with what I know: that Tiyon Evans has turned into a touchdown waiting to happen each time he gets his hands on the ball. I’m banking on Evans to harness the power of the black uniforms, scoring one more this week than he did — or what was counted — against Mizzou.
In other words: four touchdowns this week after Evans punched in three scores against the Tigers. It’s a scary thought for Gamecock fans, I know, but I’m counting on it happening.