Tennessee falls to SC 15-9

Aubrey Yates
October 14, 2017

The Gamecocks appeared ready to take the lead when A.J. Turner's 20-yard touchdown run around the right end tied the game at 9-all with 1:02 left in the third quarter.

Tennessee will go up against Alabama next Saturday.

A Brent Cimaglia field goal put the Vols up 3-0, their first score on an opening possession this season.

But with 49 seconds remaining, Guarantano hit Marquez Callaway with a 17-yard pass to the SC 22-yard line.

Tennessee's second drive started at its own five-yard line but the Vols quickly moved out of the shadow of the goal post with a pair of John Kelly runs and a Guarantano pass to Brandon Johnson.

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Pass interference was called on SC on that play, so Tennessee had first and goal at the 2 with nine seconds left. Guarantano, who was elevated to starter over Quinten Dormady, should get plenty more chances as the season progresses. It's easy to blame offensive woes on a shaky quarterback situation, but for Tennessee, the failure to develop any kind of running game, especially in the second half, was a major factor in the loss. It came down to a failed Tennessee red zone drive, which was part of quite a trend. The extra leadership reps and practice time weren't an immediate fix.

Throughout the game, it was a slugfest where neither offense could find much traction and, more often than not, settled for a field goal attempt.

SC pulled ahead for good on its next possession with a 16-play, 72-yard drive that lasted over nine minutes.

Good things happen when Tennessee gets the ball to Kelly, though he's had 32 carries for 102 yards over the past two games as the Volunteer pass game has experienced some difficulties.

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