Preview: Rock Hill natives face off across line of scrimmage as Gamecocks take on Tennessee
KNOXVILLE, TN (WIS/AP) - When 11th-ranked South Carolina takes on Tennessee, it will be the third straight opponent the Gamecocks face who are looking for their first SEC win. The Vols join Kentucky and Arkansas on the South Carolina schedule who have not yet won a conference game this season.
Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley's familiarity with South Carolina defensive end Jadaveon Clowney goes beyond the game tapes and ESPN highlights. They both grew up in Rock Hill, SC.
Although Worley and Clowney attended different high schools, Worley remembers Clowney as an elementary school running back who was taller and faster than his teammates. And he watched Clowney mature into one of the nation's most feared pass rushers.
But Worley will spend Saturday avoiding a Rock Hill reunion until the game is over. Clowney has two sacks so far this season, but consider he sat out against Kentucky and savvy opponents have double-teamed him.
The last time South Carolina took on Tennessee, the Gamecocks won 38-35 at Williams-Brice Stadium, but for a price. It's a game USC fans will never forget because it was the last time they saw running back Marcus Lattimore play before he went down with a season-ending knee injury in the second quarter. Lattimore later declared himself eligible for the NFL draft.
Clowney had one sack of Tennessee's 2012 quarterback, Tyler Bray.
The Gamecocks have won the last three times they've taken on Tennessee.
South Carolina (5-1, 3-1) enters the game ranked 11th by the AP, 9th in the USA Today-Coaches poll. Tennessee (3-3, 0-2) is unranked.
The Gamecocks have won four straight games, coming off a 52-7 win against Arkansas last week. Tennessee lost to Georgia 34-31 in overtime. All of Tennessee's losses this season came from ranked teams.
South Carolina's defense should be well-rested from the Arkansas game. They were on the field for less than 17 minutes of clock time against the Razorbacks.
On the offensive side of the ball, running back Mike Davis will push for a 6th straight 100-yard game.
Kickoff is at noon from Neyland Stadium. The game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN.