Vols upset Gamecocks, Jones gets first SEC win - WSMV Channel 4

Vols upset Gamecocks, Jones gets first SEC win

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Courtesy University of Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, TN - Tennessee added another brick to Butch Jones' "brick-by-brick" mantra by rallying to upset No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday.

The Vols' won 23-21 on a last-second field goal by Michael Palardy and ended a 19-game losing streak against ranked teams that dated back to a 31-13 victory, also over South Carolina, on Oct. 31, 2009. The Gamecocks were ranked No. 21 at that time.

It was also UT's first win over a top-15 team since an Oct. 27, 2007 game against the Gamecocks, who were 15th prior to that game.

On the game-winning drive, Justin Worley hit Marquez North for a 39-yard, one-handed catch on third and 10 to the South Carolina 36. Marlin Lane ran for 25 yards on the next four plays to the 1-yard line.

Jones let the clock run down to three seconds before Worley spiked the ball, setting up Palardy for the game-winning, 20-yard field goal.

Worley, who two years ago made his first career start against his home state Gamecocks, threw for 179 yards on 19-of-34 passing with one touchdown and no interceptions. The Vols' running back tandem of Rajion Neal and Lane combined for 132 yards.

South Carolina's Mike Davis, the SEC's leading rusher, rumbled for 137 yards.

North finished with three catches for 102 yards, the first Vol to get more than 100 receiving yards since Justin Hunter and Mychal Rivera did so last season against Missouri.

Pig Howard had a career-high eight catches for 33 yards, including a 6-yard TD reception. Tight end Brendan Downs also posted a career-high in catches with three.

Tennessee's defense played strong against a team that piled up 52 points and 537 yards of offense at Arkansas a week ago. The Vols forced Connor Shaw (7-of-21 for 161 yards) into his first interception of the season, ending his streak of 177 consecutive attempts without a pick. Freshman Cameron Sutton picked off Shaw at the UT 27 to thwart the Gamecocks' first drive of the second half.

The Tennessee victory was Shaw's first loss to an unranked team in his career as a starter.

The Vols front line also sacked Shaw four times on the day, the most for the quarterback this season, including a career best 2.5 by senior Marlon Walls.

South Carolina cut the deficit to 17-14 on a 21-yard run by Davis with 9:46 left in the third quarter.

South Carolina took a 21-17 lead on a Shaw 1-yard plunge to regain the lead for the Gamecocks with 2:50 left in the third quarter.

The Vols led for 32 of the game's first 42 minutes but fell behind 21-17. They put together a drive to get within one at 21-20 on a Palardy 33-yard field goal with 10:11 left in the fourth.

Down 7-3 early in the second quarter, the Vols tallied back-to-back touchdowns in less than five minutes to take a 17-7 lead with 6:11 left in the first half.

The Vols put together a steady 10-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a 6-yard strike from Worley to Howard with 8:36 left in the second quarter to make it 10-7.

Tennessee then engineered a seven-play, 61-yard drive on the strength of the ground game as Neal finished the drive with a 5-yard run.

Butch Jones maintained his nearly perfect record (43-2) when his teams lead at halftime.

South Carolina took a 7-3 lead on a 76-yard bomb from Connor Shaw to Damiere Byrd early in the second quarter.

Tennessee is now 23-7-2 all-time vs. South Carolina and 15-2 in Knoxville.

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