The South Carolina Gamecocks host Tennessee on Saturday in Columbia, S.C. Here are your three keys to a Gamecock victory over the Vols.
By Don Yates
1- Keep things simple
This is probably a key for every team in college football for openers. Most teams have had little or no spring practice. Preseason drills have been spotty with practice session cancellations and COVID infected players missing drills. This all points to the need for simplicity on Saturday. Stick to the basics or at least the things you know your players can execute properly.
2- Collin Hill Shines
Colorado State graduate transfer Collin Hill being named the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks probably raised a few eyebrows in Columbia. Ryan Hilinski seemed like the almost certain starter for 2020. It makes sense though, Hill played in new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo’s offense for three years. He knows the system. What he doesn’t know or at least hasn’t experienced much is the speed of SEC defensive lineman, which is what sets the SEC apart from other leagues. A lot of the Gamecocks hopes for a win hinge on whether or not Hill can perform as well in Columbia as he did in Fort Collins.
3- Frustrate Jarrett Guarantano
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano is a kind of helter-skelter type player. He’s either going to play very well or very poorly. If the South Carolina defense can get some early pressure on Guarantano, frustrate him and maybe get a sack or knock down quarterback hurry, they might be able to get the very poor playing Guarantano going. South Carolina’s defense did a number on Georgia last season in Athens. There’s no reason they can’t do the same to Tennessee and Guarantano on Saturday in Columbia.
Will Muschamp has a 7-1 record versus Tennessee. He should probably get another win on Saturday. Especially if they have that rooster crow blaring on the public address system.
Saturday‘s game kicks off at 6:30 PM CT (7:30 PM ET). Watch on the SEC Network.