Following Pair of Losses, South Carolina a 14-Point Favorite Against Tennessee
The South Carolina Gamecocks were flying high a little over two weeks ago with a perfect record and No. 3 ranking, but consecutive losses to Top 10 opponents dashed any hopes for a BCS or SEC title this season. Now they will look to move beyond those failed hopes as 14-point home favorites against struggling Tennessee (3-4, 0-4).
South Carolina had their championship dreams quashed with a 23-21 loss at LSU two weeks ago followed by a 44-11 shellacking by the Florida Gators at The Swamp. Head coach Steve Spurrier has tried to encourage his team to get past the losses by stressing this week that there is still plenty to achieve for the Gamecocks, most notably a second-consecutive 11-win season. If that message has gotten through, South Carolina could prove a very tough customer for Tennessee.
The Volunteers had a nice non-conference portion of the season, but have since dropped all four SEC games including last week’s 44-13 loss to Alabama as 19-point home underdogs. Tennessee’s offense has not been the problem as it can move the ball and put points on the board. In fact, the Vols have outscored and outgained Spurrier’s squad this season.
The major issue holding back the Vols is a defense that is giving up 33.3 points a game. Teams are simply outscoring Tennessee this season, a fact that should have Spurrier raring to go in this one.
Standout running back Marcus Lattimore was limited the last two weeks with an injury that severely hindered the Gamecocks chances in their key battles against LSU and Florida. However, Lattimore has been given a clear bill of health this week and could be poised for a big effort against the Vols. Additionally, Spurrier said this week Conor Shaw will go the whole way at quarterback against Tennessee after splitting time the previous two weeks.
South Carolina is a perfect 4-0 at home this season and an impressive 6-2 against the spread. They are easily the better team on paper and you have to figure the Gamecocks will be playing angry after what happened to their season in the last two weeks. The line in this week’s college football odds has moved to a full 14 points for this game. It may be a smart play to follow the money and take the Gamecocks.
on tumblr: http://loserwithsocks.tumblr.com/post/34361364567