As with most SEC matchups, the Week 9 game between the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Tennessee Volunteers will have its share of storylines.
The conference rivalry adds a dimension to games between divisional opponents that isn’t found in non-conference games. An element of dislike—even hatred—is built into games in the second half of the college football season; if you don’t like that, you probably shouldn’t be watching sports.
And, if the game between South Carolina and Tennessee didn’t have enough going for it already, it’s scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST as part of a national broadcast on ESPN2.
The tailgating scene at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, TN is crazy enough before day games—the fact that this matchup is a night game only adds to the anticipation. Needless to say, it’ll probably be a long day of drinking for the Tennessee faithful.
(The same goes for the pocket of South Carolina fans brave enough to face one of the toughest road environments in the country. They’ll need to be good and “lubed up”—to borrow Tom Brady’s phrase—if they plan on surviving the game, should things go wrong for the Gamecocks.)
With South Carolina coming to Tennessee off a bye week but without star running back Marcus Lattimore, the outcome of the game won’t be easily predicted.
The wild card for Tennessee will again be the quarterback situation, as they’ll start true freshman Justin Worley for the first time.
If you’re betting on the game, you know the oddsmakers have this one pegged basically as a coin flip. With so many unknown variables playing into this contest, viewers are in for a classic SEC battle.
Here are some quick hitters to get you set for this Saturday’s big SEC East matchup.