South Carolina vs UT 2021 college football score, highlights


South Carolina weren’t just sidelined in Saturday’s Knoxville game. USC marched to Rocky Top and was spiraled down the mountainside by a Tennessee offense that left orange and white checkerboard marks all over USC’s defense in the first half of the 45-20 defeat of the Gamecocks.

“This isn’t the start we wanted,” said head coach Shane Beamer. “This first quarter went as badly as it could have been.”

Saturday’s 30-minute opening wasn’t just a wreck. South Carolina (3-3, 0-3 SEC) lost control, flipped over and crashed into a telephone pole in one fell swoop.

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, who supplanted Joe Milton under center two weeks into the season, dove, rushed and dove around the South Carolina defense with a reckless abandonment. The transfer from Virginia Tech took the Vols to a 38-point first half that included four scoring records of five games or less. Hooker finished his day 17 of 23 for 225 yards and three touchdowns.

This Tennessee (4-2, 2-1 SEC) moved with the pace and precision of a cream orange Ferrari hardly surprised. First-year Flights head coach Josh Heupel guided Central Florida to No. 2, 2 and 5 nationally in all-out offense between 2018 and 2020.

Beamer has also been asked all week how the Gamecocks might slow down the Flights’ offensive attack. Tennessee’s 62-point explosion last week in Missouri was another proof of concept.

On Saturday, however, a South Carolina defense that had surrendered just 308 yards per game and ranked in the top half of the Southeastern Conference in total defense gave little more resistance than a plastic bag in a tornado within the first 30 minutes.

“They were going to beat, so you have to line up, put your crampons in the dirt and see what’s in front of you,” said safety Jaylan Foster. “We didn’t do that in the first half.

As Tennessee’s offense moved like wildfire across the turf of Neyland Stadium at first, it was South Carolina’s puzzling appeal that opened Saturday’s contest.

Trailing 14-0 with just over two minutes to go in the first quarter, the Gamecocks made a pitch to defensive end Jordan Burch at the Tennessee 6-yard line. Burch scampered to his left and passed to triple-cover tight end Nick Muse.

Tennessee safety Jaylen McCollough quickly slipped under the reverse pass and retrieved it in the end zone. Five plays later, Hooker ran 11 yards for a grueling early score.

“We were playing well with the ball,” Beamer conceded after the game in reference to Burch’s interception. “With the recoil being 20/20, you just keep running the ball and hammering it and making it a 14-7 game, if we had scored the touchdown.”

With Saturday’s flawed first half behind it, South Carolina offered brief glimpses of life on an otherwise forgetful day when running back Kevin Harris scolded and fell into the end zone for his first two touchdowns of the year – the last of which shot the Gamecocks in all three scores.

Sandwiched between Harris’ touchdowns, Beamer followed the deception from the start of the goal line when punter Kai Kroeger threw a pass to Payton Mangrum on a false punt in the third quarter that ended in a touchdown. of 44 yards.

“We might have to consider getting him in (into the quarterback room) or getting him a package,” quarterback Luke Doty joked of Kroeger, who played quarterback in high school. “He did a hell of a job today. “

The Gamecocks’ defense was also cracked down. Tennessee were held scoreless for the first 25 minutes of the second half and registered just 108 attacking yards in the final two frames.

But with an Everest cliff to climb after Saturday’s stagnant start, South Carolina’s listless first half sank the Gamecocks to a long football pitch away from the banks of the Tennessee River.

First descent

At 3-3, South Carolina’s playoff aspirations aren’t all that good. But the loss to a tending UT side in the SEC East leaves the Gamecocks with a steeper mountain to climb than the one they were catapulted over in Saturday’s first half.

USC closes its season with # 18 Auburn, # 20 Florida, Texas A&M and Clemson. The Gamecocks have been a 1-9 handset against these enemies since 2018.

Key figures

minus-200: Jordan Burch quarterback score after his first quarter interception

2 – The number of successes in the career of punter Kai Kroeger in South Carolina

Next football game in South Carolina

Who: South Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

When: 4 p.m. Saturday, October 16

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium in Colombia

Television: SEC network

USC vs UT: how they scored

First shift

TENN — Hyatt 3 pass from Hooker (kick from McGrath), 9:18.

TENN — Payton 39 assist from Hooker (McGrath kick), 6:46.

TENN — Hooker 11 run (McGrath kick),: 58.

TENN — V.Jones 21 Hooker’s pass (McGrath kick),: 12.

Second quarter

TENN — Evans 45 run (McGrath kick), 5:40.

USC — Ke.Harris 6 run (P.White kick), 2:04.

TENN — FG McGrath 25,: 00.

Third quarter

SCAR — Mangrum 44 pass from Kroeger (P.White kick), 7:15.

Fourth trimester

SCAR — Ke.Harris 1 run (failed pass), 12:18.

TENN — Whitehead 2 run (McGrath kick), 4:45.

Individual statistics

RUSHING — South Carolina, Harris 16-61, McDowell 8-41, Doty 9-29, Lloyd 6-24, (team) 1-0, Joyner 1- (minus 1). Tennessee, Evans 16-119, Hooker 20-66, Whitehead 10-41, V. Jones 1-15, Pierce 2-6.

PASSAGES — South Carolina, Doty 18-30-0-164, Kroeger 1-1-0-44, Vann 1-1-0-6, (team) 1-1-0-3, Brooks 0-1-1 – 0. Tennessee, Hooker 17-23-0-225.

RECEPTION — South Carolina, Bell 4-43, Joyner 4-40, Brooks 3-26, Vann 3-12, Muse 2-24, Harris 2-12, Mangrum 1-44, Kenion 1-11, McDowell 1-5 . Tennessee, V. Jones 6-103, Tillman 6-59, Hyatt 3-21, Payton 1-39, Fant 1-3.


This story was originally published October 9, 2021 3:28 pm.

Ben Portnoy is the author of football beats for the South Carolina State Gamecocks. He has received the Associated Press Sports Editors award five times and has been recognized by the Mississippi Press Association and the National Sports Media Association. Portnoy previously covered the State of Mississippi for the Columbus Commercial Dispatch and Indiana football for the Journal Gazette at Fort. Wayne, Indiana.

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