Staff Predictions: Tennessee-South Carolina

Matthew Ray

The 2020 season is officially underway for the SEC, and the Tennessee Volunteers are set to kick-off their season in just a short time against South Carolina at 7:30 ET on the SEC Network. The Volunteers won last season's contest 41-21, and they relied heavily on impact plays to make it happen. The game this year could be much closer, as there are several unknowns for each team. Our staff shares their predictions here.

Brandon: 24-17 Tennessee

Games in the SEC are won and lost in the trenches. Jeremy Pruitt has put tremendous effort into rebuilding both of his lines since coming to Knoxville, and it has paid dividends. The Volunteer line should be able to control the game and set the tone, and with Tennessee's running backs that should result in some big plays. It should also lead to some opportunities downfield for the Volunteer passing game. Carolina will keep things close, because it seems like this game always is, but I am taking the Vols 24-17.

Jake: 28-17 Tennessee

I think this game is close through the first three quarters, but at some point, Tennessee’s offensive line should be able to wear down the Gamecocks. Give Jarrett Guarantano two touchdown passes on the day, with one each to Ty Chandler and Eric Gray as well. South Carolina will get a field goal on top of its two touchdowns, but the Vols will confuse Collin Hill enough to shut things down late for their first win of the 2020 season.

Dale: 24-17 Tennessee

Columbia is always a tough place to play, however, the Vols have an experienced offensive line who could really control the entire tempo of the game.

Matt: 27-13 Tennessee

This game will be close for a while. I think the Gamecocks will have some early wrinkles that could result in points. However, the Vols did a great job of limiting explosive plays late in 2019, and they are going to be able to continue that trend tonight. In my opinion, South Carolina does not have the answers at the skill position. I think we see Jarrett Guarantano show progression tonight, and the Vols will have some success through the air, but the offensive line will take this game over late. Jeremy Pruitt shows why the Vols are interested in keeping him around.

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