KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It took three quarterbacks and eight attempts for Tennessee to notch a win against a Will Muschamp led team, but when it finally happened it came in the form of a throttling.
The Vols dominated South Carolina 41-21 in their best offensive performance of the season.
With Jauan Jennings, J.T. Shrout and Jarrett Guarantano taking snaps the Vols posted 485 total yards of offense (the most since Nov. 26, 2016 in a loss to Vanderbilt).
Jennings, who ended the day without a recorded throw, started for Tennessee under center.
When he moved back to wide out he shined. His 174 receiving yards set a new career-high, while also placing him 10th all-time in UT history with 1,836 career receiving yards.
Jennings’ seven catches moved him from tenth to sixth all-time in program history with 129 career grabs and his two touchdowns moved him into a tie for eighth all-time with 17 career receiving TDs.
Shrout entered the game next for Tennessee at quarterback. On his first two drives Shrout went 2-of-4 four 17 yards before being pulled for red-shirt junior Guarantano.
Shrout would return to the game in the third quarter after Guarantano left the playing field with a left hand injury. The red-shirt freshman ended the night 7-of-11 for 122 yards and his first career touchdown.
Guarantano the third signal caller to take snaps for the orange and white threw for two scores going 11-of-19 for 229 yards before exiting the playing field.
Early on the match-up had the making of another disappointing fall Saturday for the Orange and White contingent.
On the first play from the line of scrimmage South Carolina’s Ryan Hilinski connected with Shi Smith for a 75-yard score. The Vols followed up with a four-and-out.
Tennessee would not see the end zone until the second quarter, senior Marquez Callaway returned Joseph Charlton 55-yard punt 65 yards to make it a 10-7 Tennessee game. The touchdown Callaway’s third career punt return for a score.
The Vols trailed the Gamecocks 14-10 when Guarantano notched his first score of the night. Guarantano, who went to Jennings the play prior for a 27 yard pick-up, went back to Jennings for the 48-yard score.
The Gamecocks final score of the night would come the ensuing possession. Tavien Feaster capped off a 75-yard drive with a one yard score.
Tennessee trailed 21-17 at the half.
On the Vols second possession of the second half, Guarantano went back to Jennings for the 19-yard score. Tennessee would regain the lead on Guarantano’s final play of the game, the signal caller left the field following a late hit clutching his wrist.
After a second consecutive three-and-out from the Tennessee defense Shrout led the offense back into the endzone. Shrout connecting with Callaway for a 55-yard score (Shrout’s first at the collegiate level); Tennessee led 31-21.
Tennessee’s next trip to the paydirt would be another special teams special. Daniel Bituli blocked South Carolina’s punt and returned it 29 yards for the Tennessee Touchdown giving the Vols a 41-21 lead over the Gamecocks. The scoring would end there.
Tennessee’s defense pitched a second-half shutout; the first time this season the Gamecocks failed to score in the second half.
Tennessee plays host to UAB for homecoming.