The Tennessee Volunteers pulled off probably the biggest upset of SEC conference play so far with a 23–21 victory over the No. 11 South Carolina Gamecocks. Gamecocks’ superstar and likely top 2014 NFL Draft pick Jadeveon Clowney had his best game of the season, but it wasn’t enough.
Tennessee’s defense proved why they are second best in the conference when it comes to forcing turnovers. South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw hadn’t thrown an interception in 177 attempts until he was picked off by true freshman defensive back Cameron Sutton. Tennessee’s defense is the real deal. If they can get some help from quarterback Justin Worley and future superstar receiver Marquez North, they could be extremely dangerous down the stretch.
Next up for the Volunteers is the best team in the country, the Alabama Crimson Tide. Although I think the Crimson Tide should win, Tennessee won’t roll over easily. Alabama has a bye week after this game and it could be a trap game for Nick Saban’s team. They can’t look ahead to the matchup with the LSU Tigers or they could lose this game.
Remember, Tennessee would have beaten the Florida Gators if it wasn’t for a bad decision by Butch Jones to bench Worley for Nathan Peterman and would have beaten Georgia if “Pig” Howard could have held onto the ball for another half second. The only game Tennessee didn’t compete in was the game against the No. 2 Oregon Ducks, and the Volunteers are the only team that Oregon didn’t put up 20 points in the first half against.
The upset over South Carolina and the almost victory against Georgia has Tennessee fans wondering that, if current Minnesota Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, Kansas City Chiefs backup quarterback Tyler Bray and Tennessee Titans receiver Justin Hunter had stayed for their senior year, could the Volunteers have won the SEC East?