Saturday afternoon in front of a Neyland Stadium crowd of 95,736, Tennessee added another Brick to Butch Jones’ Brick-By-Brick mantra by rallying to upset ranked South Carolina, 23-21.
The Vols’ victory ended a 19-game losing streak against ranked teams that dated to a 31-13 victory, also over South Carolina (No. 21) on Oct. 31, 2009. It was also UT’s first win over a Top 15 team since an Oct. 27, 2007 win also against the Gamecocks, who were 15th prior to that game.
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 into his first interception of the season, ending his streak of 177 consecutive attempts without an INT. Freshman Cameron Sutton picked off Shaw to stop the Gamecocks’ beginning drive of the second half. This Tennessee victory was also 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 sacks by senior Marlon Walls.
Butch Jones maintained his nearly perfect record when his teams lead at halftime, as his squads are now 43-2 when leading after 30 minutes.Tennessee is now 23-7-2 all-time vs. South Carolina and 15-2 in Knoxville. Butch Jones moved to 9-1 in his games following open dates.
To celebrate the win and to show his support for the Pride of the Southland Marching Band, Coach Butch Jones jumped up the drum majors’ side ladder and directed the band. The team was also celebrated beside the band, when they jumped up along the student section wall.
The Vols head to the road for their next two games taking on No. 1 Alabama next Saturday in Tuscaloosa in a game that will air nationally on CBS.
Tennessee will make its first trip to Missouri the following week before returning home for the Auburn game on Nov. 9, which serves as the 2013 Homecoming Game.