By Jordan Mayton, VFL Insider
Vols Game Preview
Tennessee Volunteers (3-2, 0-2 SEC) vs South Carolina Gamecocks (4-2, 2-2 SEC)
Saturday, October 14, 12:00 PM (ET) on ESPN
Neyland Stadium – Knoxville, Tennessee
What to watch for:
Rumors of fights at practice, poor cohesion in the locker room and dissension among assistant coaches are swirling around Tennessee’s football program. It seems like head coach Butch Jones has truly lost his football team.
This all comes on the heels of one of Tennessee’s worst losses in history. The Georgia Bulldogs dominated the Vols in all three facets of the game in route to a 41-0 defeat. It’s been clear since that time that Team 121 has been mired with discourse and calamity.
In his Monday press conference, Jones claimed that Tennessee has had one of its best bye weeks to date.
Factual evidence would beg to differ.
I’m not at practice every day, but in this two week stretch, there has been a fight at practice where a player was suspended. Defensive end Darrell Taylor reportedly was beaten by freshman Trey Smith in a drill. It was reported that Taylor kicked Smith in the face after his helmet fell off during the skirmish.
There’s no way Tennessee beats South Carolina without Darrell Taylor… Taylor now suspended. #Vols
— Austin Stanley (@AustinStanley81) October 9, 2017
Then Wednesday saw a new starter named at quarterback with Jarrett Guarantano getting the nod. Junior quarterback Quinten Dormady threatened to leave the program before he was talked off the ledge and chose to practice with the team.
Hopefully Jones has the team prepared because South Carolina will be no easy task.
The Gamecocks just blew Arkansas out at home, scoring three defensive touchdowns in the process. Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley is third in the SEC in passing yards and second in touchdowns. The Opelika, Alabama-native has engineered great wins this season over NC State and Missouri. Couple that with the fact that Butch Jones has never beaten Will Muschamp.
Tennessee on the other hand, will have a new starter at quarterback. It could be a good or bad thing. Right now it’s an unknown. Despite giving up 41 points to Georgia, the Vols’ defense has started to tighten up. This is the next big test for Tennessee.
This test will be a big factor for Jones’s future at Tennessee.