The Tennessee Volunteers have looked frisky for weeks, but they finally pulled off the big upset against South Carolina, 23-21, at home with a field goal in the dying seconds to clinch the win.
Things started out well for Tennessee. They notched a 3-0 lead about five minutes into the game, and despite giving up a 76-yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd, went into halftime with a 17-7 lead thanks to touchdowns from Pig Howard (Pig Howard!) and Raijon Neal.
Things turned in the third quarter though, as rushing touchdowns from the effervescent Mike Davis and Connor Shaw put the Gamecocks back in front 21-17 to begin the fourth quarter. A second field goal from Michael Palardy made it a one-point game, and the Vols looked like they were primed to retake the lead late. Butch Jones elected to punt with just over three minutes remaining on a fourth-and-4 near midfield in a somewhat curious decision, but South Carolina wasn't able to kill the clock and the Vols got another chance. They wouldn't miss on this one, and Palardy hit a 19-yard field goal in the final seconds to seal the upset.
Box Score Hero:
Mike Davis was magisterial for South Carolina in a losing effort. On a day where the Gamecocks passing game was largely ineffective, he knocked out 137 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, averaging over 6.5 yards a pop. Honorable mention goes to Tennessee's Marquez North, who caught three passes for 102 yards, including this ridiculous grab that helped set up the winning field goal:
South Carolina came into the game ranked ninth in the USA Today Poll and 11th in the AP Poll, so they'll take a tumble. At 4-3, Tennessee probably won't be ranked.
But Did They Cover?
The Gamecocks were seven-point favorites on the road, so they did not cover that spread, obviously.
For More On This Game:
For more on the Gamecocks, head over to Garnet and Black Attack.
For more on the Vols, check out Rocky Top Talk.
Next Week's Schedule:
South Carolina: 10/26, at Missouri
Tennessee: 10/26, at Alabama