The South Carolina Gamecocks’ defense has been a rollercoaster ride this season, appearing at high-impact moments against teams like Kentucky and Texas A&M but falling short against teams like Arkansas, Missouri and Florida.
It won’t be easy for the Gamecocks defense to end their recent showings with ho-hum as the Tennessee Volunteers have taken the college football world by storm this season with their high-flying offense.
What makes the Tennessee Volunteers so dangerous if they own the football?
What they do before the snap
The first thing you notice about the volunteers is their lightning fast pace. Unless they get into obvious passing situations, they try to line up as soon as the ball is spotted, which can catch an opposing defense on their heels.
The Volunteers also like to use an unorthodox alignment with their wide receivers in terms of how wide they are set up compared to where the ball is on the field, with the outside receivers being closer to the touchline than most wideouts, together inside listeners snaps.
This forces opposing defenders to defend every blade of grass horizontally and vertically and make solid plays in the open field.
The use of eye candy
Tennessee is by no means a gimmicky offensive like some critics, but they use some simple fake-out concepts to try to deceive opposing defenses. You see this mainly when using a split back set. This signals either a run or an action fake.
The Volunteers will also execute some jet motion concepts that can give them a numerical advantage on screen passes or can be used to shift defense to one side of the field.
In order for the South Carolina defense to combat these aspects, they must try not to allow Tennessee to continually run down the field with ease. You must force the volunteers to convert third down attempts while forcing turnovers.
If the Gamecocks are going to pull off the massive excitement, they’ll likely need to find ways to stop and steal possessions to keep this offense off the field at all costs.
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