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Gamecocks lose big to Tennessee Volunteers

The Volunteers won big beating the Gamecocks 45-20.
The Volunteers won big beating the Gamecocks 45-20.(Associated Press)
Published: Oct. 9, 2021 at 1:39 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, T.N. (WIS) - The South Carolina Gamecocks traveled to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers in an SEC midday matchup. South Carolina came off a hard-fought win against the Troy Trojans looking to keep that momentum rolling.

However, Tennessee had other plans for South Carolina, beating the Gamecocks 45-20.

The first quarter was all Volunteers, scorching the Gamecocks with four touchdowns.

Of the barrage of touchdowns from the Volunteers, the most notable was quarterback Hendon Hooker tossing a 39-yard pass to receiver JaVonta Payton for their second score of the game.

The Volunteers led 28-0 at the end of the first quarter, one of the worst first quarters in Gamecock history.

The second quarter began with three straight drives by both offenses ending in punts. Both defenses played extremely well after the first quarter.

But the Volunteers offense wouldn’t hold up for long, as about midway through the quarter, running back Tiyon Evans broke free for a 45-yard touchdown run, extending their lead to 35-0.

The Gamecocks finally broke through on a drive before halftime. That drive ended in a 6-yard Kevin Harris touchdown run. That touchdown run would be only the second touchdown run of the season for the Gamecocks.

Tennessee simply would not let up, scoring yet again with a 25-yard field goal -- 38-7, Volunteers at the half.

‘Beamer ball’ came into full effect with about 8 minutes left in the third quarter. That’s when a Gamecock punt fake took place, resulting in a Kai Kroeger 44-yard touchdown pass Payton Mangrum. 38-14, Volunteers.

Down big, the Gamecocks didn’t lose hope and punched in a 1-yard Kevin Harris touchdown run on fourth down. The Gamecocks would not convert on the 2-point attempt, 38-20 Volunteers.

To put the icing on the cake, Len’Neth Whitehead scored one more touchdown run from two yards out with about 5 minutes left in the game.

The deficit from early could not be overcome no matter the effort by the Gamecocks. With time as the enemy, the Gamecocks eventually lost to the Volunteers with a final of 45-20.

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