OPPONENT: Tennessee Volunteers
WHEN: Saturday, October 27, 2018 at TBD
WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC)
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: Tennessee leads 25-9-2
LAST MEETING: October 14, 2017 – South Carolina beat Tennessee in Knoxville, TN 15-9.
2017 RECORD: 4-8 (0-8)
Jeremy Pruitt begins his first season as Tennessee head coach after the Butch Jones experience took a turn for the worst in Knoxville. Pruitt will look to re-energize the UT program and return them to national prominence.
Pruitt falls from the Nick Saban coaching tree, having spent his collegiate playing days at Alabama and working under Saban at Alabama as a defensive coordinator.
- OL Drew Richmond (6-3, 309) Junior
- WR Brandon Johnson (6-2, 193) Junior
- WR Marquez Callaway (6-2, 190) Junior
- C Ryan Johnson (6-6, 300) Sophomore
- LT Trey Smith (6-6, 320) Sophomore
- DE Kyle Phillips (6-4, 263) Senior
- DE Jonathan Kongbo (6-6, 275) Senior
- WLB Quart’e Sapp (6-2, 222) Junior
- MLB Daniel Bituli (6-3, 240) Junior
- SS Nigel Warrior (6-0, 194) Junior
- FS Micah Abernathy (6-0, 203) Senior
How did they fare in 2017?
Tennessee began the year with a thrilling 42-41 win over Georgia Tech on Labor Day a year ago. After starting the season 2-0, not much good happened after that.
The Butch Jones experience finally crumbled and the Volunteers finished the season without a single SEC win. Jones was let go late in the year and the Vols finished 2017 with a disappointing home loss to their in-state rival, Vanderbilt.
Best Returning Player…
WR Marquez Callaway (6-2, 190) Junior
Callaway has all the physical tools to be a very friendly target for whoever is playing quarterback for the Vols. He burst onto the scene in week one a year ago, hauling in 2 touchdowns against Georgia Tech.
Expect Tennessee QB’s to go to Callaway early and often and for him to be a mismatch nightmare for opposing defenses.
The Jeremy Pruitt era begins in Knoxville as the Volunteers look to rebound from a rocky 2017. Pruitt has already began to put his stamp on the UT program, giving Vols fans a breath of fresh from the disastrous Butch Jones campaign.
While coaching will be much improved, the Volunteers roster still doesn’t appear to be top of the line. The biggest question falls at quarterback, where Stanford transfer Keller Christ and returning sophomore Jarrett Guarantano will fight for the starting job.
Overall, year one for Jeremy Pruitt will be an adjustment period for the Volunteers. There is skepticism from some pundits about his abilities to be a head coach and run a big time organization like Tennessee. That being said, Tennessee should be improved from a year ago and will challenge for a bowl berth.
2018 SEASON PROJECTION: 5-7 (2-6)