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October 26, 2012

Gamecock Sports: Game Prediction - USC vs. Tennessee

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South Carolina vs. Tennessee Prediction: Back at Home and Hoping for a Win

After two miserable weeks on the road, Carolina returns home to try and salvage what is left of the season. After a tough loss at LSU, the Gamecocks got embarrassed at the Swamp last week...much due to the horrible turnovers made by Connor Shaw and the Gamecocks special teams unit.

With a hopefully improved, rested team, Carolina will take on a tough Tennessee team that is much better than their record reflects. With Tyler Bray at quarterback, the Volunteers will be able to throw the ball around and force Carolina’s defense to again play tough. It should be a good matchup between two teams who have had opportunities’ for greatness all season, but couldn’t finish in the big moments.

Reasons Tennessee May Win
After playing several close games early in their SEC schedule, Tennessee took a pounding last week from Alabama...despite the fact that the Volunteers were moving the ball on the ground against a strong Tide defensive front. With the ability to run the ball and Tyler Bray’s strong passing game, Tennessee will be another tough test for Carolina’s defense.

One thing is very apparent when looking at the scores from the Vols’ previous matchups this season: their defense still needs a lot of work. Opponents are scoring points in masses against their porous defense, and they face another tough test this week in Marcus Lattimore. Despite their struggles, if the same Carolina offense shows up this week that played at the Swamp last week, Tennessee shouldn’t have many problems at all.

Reasons South Carolina May Win
Every week I talk about how important it is to not make turnovers and last week was the proof in the pudding. This is one time I wish I wasn’t proven right. But this week the Gamecocks get to return home and hopefully find the offense that played Georgia several weeks ago.

Marcus Lattimore should be healthy and should have a clear path this weekend against a ragged Tennessee defense. Also hopeful for this weekend is the return of the Connor Shaw we saw play the first half of the season. He has struggled mightily in the last two games which has led me to believe that he will welcome the sight of the home field and crowd this weekend at high noon at Williams-Brice Stadium.

I still believe that Carolina’s defense is one of the best in the country. Last week the score looked as if they were struggling, but when the offense and special teams repeatedly turns the ball over within our own 25 yard line, it’s nearly impossible to keep the other team out of the endzone. They will again have a tough test in Bray and the Volunteers, but I believe they will again stand up to the test and give the offense opportunities to score. Whether or not they actually will remains to be seen.

Keys to the Game
UT: The defense must find a way to stop Lattimore and force Carolina into a passing game.
USC: They MUST eliminate turnovers and find a way to get the ball in Lattimore’s hands.

Final Score: USC 20, UT 13

Post written by Gamecock Girl Sports Bloggess Lauren Hall.

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