Gamecocks struggle to contain Vols, fall 41-21 to Tennessee

Gamecocks struggle to contain Vols, fall 41-21 to Tennessee
Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings (15) runs for yardage as he's chased by South Carolina linebacker Ernest Jones (53) and defensive back Israel Mukuamu (24) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019, in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne) (Source: Wade Payne)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WIS) - Will Muschamp entered Saturday with a 7-0 career record against Tennessee. With the Volunteers not exactly have a stellar season, the Gamecocks were looking to extend that streak.

However, Saturday proved to be “The Jauan Jennings Show.” The redshirt senior had seven catches for 174 yards with two touchdowns to help Tennessee defeat South Carolina 41-21.

Carolina only needed 11 seconds to get on the board. On the first play from scrimmage, Ryan Hilinski found Shi Smith to scored on a 75-yard reception putting Carolina ahead 7-0 with 14:49 to go in the first quarter.

After a Tennessee field goal in the first quarter, the Volunteers took the lead with 9:50 to go in the second quarter. Forced to punt deep from their own territory, the Gamecocks surrendered a 65-yard punt return to Marquez Callaway to take a 10-7 lead.

Muschamp’s squad regained the lead later in the quarter. Following a targeting call against Darel Middleton and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Tennessee head coach Jeremy Pruitt, the Gamecocks cashed in on a 1-yard touchdown run by Mon Denson pushing Carolina ahead 14-10.

Tennessee didn’t wait long to snatch the lead back. It only took two plays, but Jarrett Guarantano fired a 48-yard pass to Jauan Jennings to put the Vols back on top 17-14.

Carolina battled back. With Bryan Edwards hauling in a one-handed catch to get his team inside the 1, Tavien Feaster wrapped up the series two plays later with a 1-yard touchdown run to put the Gamecocks ahead 21-17 with 10 seconds left at the half.

Feaster had 19 carries for 80 yards and a touchdown for the Gamecocks.

At one point, South Carolina had just collected just 48 yards of offense following their 75-yard touchdown pass to open the game. At halftime, Carolina went into the locker room with 229 yards.

Tennessee came out firing in the third quarter scoring 24 unanswered points. With 8:16 to go, Jauan Jennings caught his second touchdown catch of the day. The 19-yard catch gave Tennessee a 24-21 lead.

Guarantano, however, took a hit during that play that would force him out of the game. He finished the day 11-of-19 passing for 229 yards.

About three minutes later, JT Shrout returned to the game after being replaced by Guarantano in the first quarter and tossed a 55-yard pass to Callaway pushing the Vols ahead 31-21.

Shrout was 7-of-11 for 122 yards and a touchdown on Saturday. Callaway had three catches for 102 yards and a score.

Following Tennessee’s second field goal of the day, the Vols special teams blocked a punt and scored to make it 41-21.

As the Vols continued to make things work, Carolina continued to search for answers. The Gamecocks put up just 58 yards in the third quarter. The team finished the contest with 397 yards with 78 of those coming on the ground.

The only bright spot of the second half for the Gamecocks came early when Bryan Edwards became the program’s all-time leader in career receptions. He now has 211 career receptions as a Gamecock.

The loss now makes it just a little more difficult for South Carolina in their quest to make a bowl. The Gamecocks, now sitting at 3-5, will face Vanderbilt at home on Nov. 2.

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