College Football
Tennessee 31, South Carolina 27
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, September 26, 2020
Where: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, South Carolina
Temperature: 70°
Head Official: Ken Williamson
Attendance: 15009

Quarterback Jarrett Guarantano rushed for a touchdown and passed for another as No. 16 Tennessee held on to defeat South Carolina 31-27 in the Southeastern Conference and season opener for both teams Saturday night in Columbia, S.C.

Guarantano threw a tiebreaking 32-yard touchdown pass to Josh Palmer with 9:35 to play to cap a 75-yard drive that lasted only four plays.

After each team punted, South Carolina (0-1) faced fourth-and-12 at the Tennessee 28, and Parker White nailed a 45-yard field goal at the 3:16 mark. The Gamecocks regained possession with about 1:25 left, but Cam Smith fumbled on the punt return.

Guarantano ended up 19-for-31 for 259 yards.

Transfer quarterback Collin Hill threw for 290 yards on 25-for-39 passing for South Carolina. Shi Smith made 10 catches for 140 yards.

Tennessee (1-0) threatened to pull away after Eric Gray scored on a 12-yard run to begin the second half, making it 21-7.

The Gamecocks responded with a pair of touchdowns on drives covering 75 and 71 yards. Hill threw 29 yards to Smith and later scored on a 1-yard run as South Carolina pulled even.

A 27-yard field goal for Brent Cimaglia put the Volunteers back on top with 2:18 left in the third quarter. Cimaglia had missed from 46 yards away earlier in the quarter.

White's 35-yard field goal tied it at 24-24 early in the fourth quarter.

South Carolina struck first on Kevin Harris' 3-yard run to complete an 11-play march on the first possession of the season.

Guarantano threw for 101 yards in the first quarter.

The Volunteers went ahead with two touchdowns in a span of less than five minutes. Guarantano ran in from 1 yard out to cap a 90-yard drive that consumed only 2:34.

Then early in the second quarter, Henry To'o To'o returned a Hill interception 32 yards for a touchdown.

Tennessee entered the season on a six-game winning streak, beginning with last year's 20-point victory against South Carolina.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Tennessee   South Carolina
Ty Chandler Player Kevin Harris
13 Attempts 13
86 Yards 55
6.6 Avg Yards 4.2
0 Touchdowns 1
0 Long 0
Tennessee   South Carolina
Josh Palmer Player Shi Smith
6 Receptions 10
85 Yards 140
14.2 Avg Yards 14.0
1 Touchdowns 1
0 Long 0
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
Tennessee 394 133 261 4 1 1 4.0 1
South Carolina 379 89 290 3 2 0 2.0 1