The Volunteers enter this game with a very legitimate chance to do what only one other team has done this season -- beat the No. 11 Gamecocks. Butch Jones' squad is coming off of a bye and will have had two weeks to prepare for what could be his first signature victory. Tennessee looks like it can compete, after the Vols came very close to knocking off then-No. 6 Georgia and were competitive with Florida (despite trotting out backup quarterback Nathan Peterman). While that Georgia team has been decimated by injuries, taking the Bulldogs into overtime says much about Tennessee's fight and determination.
Adding to the upset watch is the fact that this one will be held in the friendly confines of Neyland Stadium.
To do it, Volunteer quarterback Justin Worley will need to play the game of his life, or something close to it. Other than in a win against FCS Austin Peay in the first week, the junior has yet to complete even 60% of his passes in a game this season, and is 13th in the SEC in quarterback rating, with a mediocre 2:2 TD:INT ratio in conference play.
South Carolina will come in having won four in a row -- some by less than ideal margins, and some by blowouts. Despite last week's 52-7 victory over Arkansas, the Gamecocks have been tested by other unranked opponents, including Kentucky.
Rankings and records: If there's one thing working in Tennessee's favor, it's this: the Volunteers have a 22-7-2 all-time advantage over the Gamecocks, including a 12-game winning streak from 1993-2004. Steve Spurrier has led South Carolina to three consecutive wins over the Vols, though, and he'll be looking to stretch it to four.
Vegas: South Carolina are 7.5-point favorites.
Weather: There is a 30% chance of rain in Knoxville this weekend, with a high of 64 degrees.
Three names to know
Butch Jones (Tennessee head coach) - The Volunteers will be looking to get their first conference win under Jones this week, which would equal their total from each of Derek Dooley's last two seasons. If it doesn't come against South Carolina, their best chance will come against Vanderbilt at home on Nov. 23, or at Kentucky the week after.
Rajion Neal (Tennessee running back) - With the passing attack being relatively pedestrian all season long, the offense has been carried by the senior Neal, who sits fourth in the conference in rushing with 616 yards. With a solid game this week, he could eclipse last year's career-best yardage total of 708. It almost goes without saying that he'll have to if Tennessee is to pull off the upset.
Mike Davis (South Carolina running back) - Unfortunately, Tennessee will be tasked with stopping one of the few players who has been more productive than Neal. Davis has run for 742 yards on nearly 7.0 YPC and has added nine touchdowns, to boot. Not bad for someone who was put in the unenviable position of replacing Marcus Lattimore.
Two things at stake
Win, and get a chance at redemption. That's the story for South Carolina, who has beaten every conference opponent since a 41-30 loss to Georgia, but still remains second in the SEC East. A huge game against No. 14 Missouri will await the Gamecocks if they can stop Tennessee, and a victory in that one will allow them to wrest control of the division from the Tigers, who are 2-0 in conference play.
Tennessee is just looking for a conference win of any kind. Though the Volunteers are 3-3 on the year, all of their victories have come against opponents who have been decidedly outmatched, making it hard to gauge their true talent level. Still, South Carolina would do well to be careful.
How to witness
TV: 12 p.m. ET, ESPN