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Tennessee Hosts South Carolina in SEC Football Betting Action

10/31/09

Will the real Tennessee Volunteers please stand up? This Tennessee team can look so good at times like against Alabama, and then they can look so bad at times like against Auburn. Tennessee is 3-4 on the year, but when they play their game they are much better than their record indicates. The Volunteers are in their first year under Coach Lane Kiffin, and while the record might not indicate it he has this team going in the right direction, and a win over the Ole Ball Coach Steve Spurrier would keep the momentum going for not only this year, but years to come.

The last thing Steve Spurrier wants to have happen is for him to lose to the new young loud mouthed Head Coach in the SEC Lane Kiffin. Kiffin came in talking a lot and he has not made many friends, and Spurrier is one that he has not made friends with. South Carolina hasnít been a team that wins flashy, but they have been getting the job done. South Carolina is 6-2 on the year, and are coming into this game off a 14-10 win over Vanderbilt. South Carolina is playing to be the runner-up in the SEC East, and with a win over Tennessee they will be well on their way to holding onto that spot.

PRIMETIME MATCHUP

Both South Carolina and Tennessee are teams whose strength is their defense. Tennessee and South Carolina are #3 and #4 in the SEC in total defense respectively. The main problem both teams have had is getting consistent play from their offenses, and for both teams it all starts with their QB play from Jonathan Crompton and Stephen Garcia. Crompton struggled in the first half of the season, but he has really turned it on in his last few games.

Against Georgia he went 20/27 for 310 yards and 4 TDís, and against arguably the best defense in the country with Alabama he went 21/36 for 265 yards and 1 TD which is about as good as any QB has done this year against the Crimson Tide. Crompton has things going in the right direction, and if he is able to keep moving in that right direction he will give his team a great chance to win.

QB Stephen Garcia hasnít struggled in many games this year, but his play has been streaky. Like with Crompton, Garcia is coming into this game off a very good performance. Against Vanderbilt Garcia went 22/33 for 312 yards and 2 TD. Garcia can also be a threat with his legs when he has to get away from pressure which adds another dimension to this Gamecock offense.

While both QBís are coming into this game strong, both defenses are going to make it difficult for the other team to have success offensively, so whichever QB is able to make the big plays when they need them will get the victory.

THE FINAL VERDICT

This is a very difficult game to figure out. Both Tennessee and South Carolina are very similar in the way they play. Both rely on great play on the defensive side, and both have QBís who have been streaky throughout the year.

The one difference in these two teams is their record. South Carolina is 6-2 on the year while Tennessee is 3-4 on the year which tells me this South Carolina team knows what it takes to get the win in the 4th quarter better then Tennessee does. When it is the 4th quarter and these teams find themselves in a dog fight I feel better about South Carolina being able to find a way then I do about Tennessee.

That being said, the Total may be the way to look in this game. The Kiffin's are know for defense and have already put their stamp on this Tennessee team. There is no question they are going to be a force in the coming years and that will be a direct result of their defense. They are holding teams to roughly 18 points per game and there's been some pretty good offenses this year that they have managed to keep in check.

South Carolina is not exactly an offensive juggernaut but they too, are doing a fine job on the defensive side of the ball. Two teams not producing offensively and both producing defensively, we'll make a play on the Under 41.5 here and while were at it, Can Tennessee cover a 6.5 point spread? We don't think so. We will take the Gamecocks +6.5 as well.

 

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