South Carolina at Tennessee Prediction - College Football Picks 9/30/23
Tennessee Volunteers (3-1) vs South Carolina Gamecocks (2-2)
Game Info: Saturday, September 30, 2023 at 7:30 pm (Neyland Stadium)
Betting Odds: Tennessee Volunteers -12.5 -- Over/Under: 63.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The South Carolina Gamecocks will head up to Knoxville to meet the Tennessee Volunteers in SEC play this Saturday from Neyland Stadium. Tennessee and South Carolina have crossed paths in each season since 1992, and the Vols hold the head-to-head lead, 28-2-11. SC did manage to win last year’s meeting, which resulted in a 25-point blowout in Columbia, 63-38.
South Carolina Gamecocks Preview
South Carolina comes in at 2-2 after defeating Mississippi State in Columbia by a touchdown, 37-30. The Gamecocks got a vintage Air Raid effort from the Bulldogs, but managed to evade the upset by capitalizing in the fourth quarter, and they’ll now face another road conference test here in Knoxville. The SC offense is scoring 28.8 ppg, while passing for 340.0 ypg, rushing for 75.8 ypg, and converting 40% of their third downs.
SC Player Notes
• Spencer Rattler was flawless versus Mississippi State last week, going 18/20 for 288 yards, while tossing three touchdowns. The former OU quarterback has really turned a corner over his previous seven starts, dating back to his effort in last season’s win over Tennessee, and he’ll look to deliver against them again this weekend. Rattler has passed for 1,242 yards, with seven touchdowns to two interceptions thru four games.
• Senior back Mario Anderson led the way 88 yards against the Bulldogs, and he’s now first on the team in rushing (129).
• Veteran wideout Xavier Leggette went off for 189 yards on five catches in the win over Mississippi State, and after surpassing the 115-yard mark in three of four games, he leads SC in receptions (27) and receiving yards (556).
• The SC defense has allowed 26.5 points per game.
Tennessee Volunteers Preview
Tennessee comes in at 3-1 after defeating UTSA at home, 45-14. The Volunteers got back into the win column with an assertive performance against the Roadrunners that saw them go into the locker room with a 31-0 lead, and they’ll now look to strike some revenge here on South Carolina for last season’s loss. The Tennessee offense is scoring 35.0 ppg, while passing for 234.0 ypg, rushing for 229.5 ypg, and converting 41.8% of their third downs.
Tennessee Player Notes
• Joe Milton III performed well in the win over UTSA by passing for 209 yards, rushing for 89 more, and totaling three touchdowns (2 pass, 1 rush). The senior quarterback bounced back from the loss in the Swamp, and he’ll now look to restore some order for the Vols with their first SEC win this weekend. Milton has 925 passing yards, with eight touchdowns through the air and four on the ground through four starts.
• Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small split the load again for the Vols this season. Wright leads the team in rushing yards (312), after surpassing the 115-yard mark in the first two contests. Small found the endzone for the first time last week versus UTSA, and he’s up to 258 yards on 42 touches.
• Senior wideout Ramel Keyton has scored in three straight games, and he leads Tennessee in receiving yards (205), while Scotty White has 172 on a team-leading 17 receptions. Bru McCoy played big in the Florida matchup, and he’s up to 15 catches for 196 yards.
• The Tennessee defense is allowing 17.2 points per game.
South Carolina vs Tennessee Trends
• South Carolina is 3-1 against the spread, with a 2-2 O/U record.
• Tennessee is 2-2 ATS, with a 1-2-1 over/under record.
• SC has covered the spread in four of its last five road games.
• TENN has won each of their last 10 games against non-AP-ranked teams at Neyland Stadium.
Corey’s Free Pick
Through the first four weeks of action, South Carolina has without been the better football team despite losses to UNC and UGA, and they're going to have a chance in this game if the elevated play of Spencer Rattler continues. Tennessee struggled to put FCS-based Austin Peay away before falling in the Swamp to Florida, and after watching SC put a real scare on Georgia during that same weekend, they very well could do the same here. The revenge narrative will be there for the Vols, after the Gamecocks ran it up on them in Columbia last season, after Heisman hopeful Hendon Hooker went down, but I like a good, contested SEC battle here. Spot South Carolina to points Saturday.