Whatever his struggles, Connor Shaw is still the best option for the Gamecocks, and after a brief spat last week, his coach, Steve Spurrier, seems to realize that as well. The same likely could be said for Tennessee. Tyler Bray needs to shake off his recent struggles and get back to the playing like he did a month ago. Edge: South Carolina.
Rajion Neal's return should help the Vols' rushing attack, although backup Marlin Lane had some hard-fought yards in his absence last week. But Marcus Lattimore — even a dinged-up Marcus Lattimore — is one of the best backs in the nation. Edge: South Carolina.
Wide receivers/tight ends
Justin Hunter seemed less than pleased with coach Derek Dooley's frank criticism this week, so we'll see if that sparks a better performance. The Gamecocks have a trio of short but speedy receivers in Ace Sanders, Bruce Ellington and Damiere Byrd. Edge: Even.
Tennessee's line, which has allowed only three sacks all season, will face another difficult test this week. The only team in the country to allow fewer sacks than the Vols is Air Force, which hardly ever passes. Edge: Tennessee.
End Jadeveon Clowney has 7 1/2 sacks and 14 tackles for loss this season. His partner on the other side of the line, senior Devin Taylor, has been nearly as good. Edge: South Carolina.
A.J. Johnson has been a warrior for the Vols, but the linebacking corps has failed to meet lofty expectations for this season. Shaq Wilson and Reginald Bowens are the most prolific tacklers in Carolina's senior-heavy unit. Edge: South Carolina.
On the surface, Tennessee's defensive woes seem firmly rooted in the secondary and it's apparent there will be no quick fixes this season. The Gamecocks' secondary is relatively anonymous compared to the rest of the defense, but the defensive backs help clean up what the front seven can't handle. Edge: South Carolina.
Michael Palardy did quite well on kickoffs, field goals and punts, so perhaps the solution to Tennessee's special teams questions was easier than anyone anticipated. Alabama kept kicking to Cordarrelle Patterson last week, almost as if they were trying to prove a point. Edge: Tennessee.
Steve Spurrier used to taunt Tennessee for only making the Citrus Bowl (now called the Capital One Bowl). It's been years since that was even a reasonable aspiration. Edge: South Carolina.
Both teams have hit rough patches in the season. Tennessee is trying avoid an 0-5 start in the SEC. The Gamecocks have lost two games in a row. South Carolina playing at home gives them the edge in this category. Edge: South Carolina.
South Carolina 42, Tennessee 27
South Carolina's performance last week was pitiful, but it's worth remembering how dominant the Gamecocks looked earlier in the season. Tennessee's porous defense offers Shaw and Carolina the perfect opportunity to get back on track.