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USC, Tennessee in Must-Win SCRC Game

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USC, Tennessee in Must-Win SCRC Game

USC and Tennessee played a knock-down, drag-out final last year in Charlotte. RRaff Photography photo.

Coming off a tough loss to Kentucky, South Carolina has what amount to a must-win this weekend in the SCRC.

The Gamecocks now sit at 2-1 while Kentucky is 3-0 and Tennessee 2-0 in the SCRC East. Only two of those teams will make the playoffs with the top two from the SCRC West. And since USC plays Tennessee this weekend, it’s fair to say that the winner has a stronger claim to one of those playoff spots.

The loss to Kentucky, said USC Head Coach Mark Morris, was tough to take since his squad was missing five starters, and the team that did take the field controlled much of the possession.

“Luckily, we will have everybody back this weekend,” said Morris. “We had a great week of practice and the captains and leaders on the team have everybody fired up. We still have a young team that is learning the offensive system so we tweaked a little bit of our offensive scheme to work in a little bit better for Tennessee and hopefully will have a good showing.”

Tennessee Head Coach Marty Bradley knows this game is important, too, and he vividly remembers last year’s final, which USC won by a point. 

“I feel good where we are,” said Bradley. “We’ve had lots of injuries. Last fall we made it through with pretty much our entire 1st 15. But this year, we can’t keep kids on the field. Still, no excuses, we’ve got to go out and play.”

Bradley said several young players have filled in admirably, while the experienced players “just need to make some plays.”

Dylan Craven has played well wherever he is asked. Normally a No. 8 he has suited up at flanker and lock because of injuries. Regardless, he has performed. 

“We are continuing to grow,” said Bradley. “And if we play to our pattern we’ll be OK.”

“It’s going to be a great game,” added Morris. “So I’m looking forward to it.”

Also on the slate in the SCRC, Georgia (1-2) is at Florida (2-1) and Mississippi State (0-2) is at Ole Miss (0-2).

Florida can’t clinch a place in the semifinals with a win over the Bulldogs, but they can come very close. 

The SCRC final is slated for November 19 in Marietta, Ga.