KNOXVILLE - Tennessee Volunteers redshirt junior running back Alvin Kamara is not available for Saturday’s game against South Carolina, according to coach Butch Jones.
Our partners at GoVols247 reported Kamara has an LCL and meniscus injury stemming from the 49-10 loss to Alabama, but not a torn ACL.
Jones said Monday afternoon that Kamara does not need surgery.
“(I’m) very, very encouraged with the progression of Alvin. He won’t be available this week,” Jones said. “We do anticipate him being back in a couple weeks.”
Coming off of a bye week, No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) is looking to snap its two-game losing streak Saturday night on the road against South Carolina.
“I think this football team and this football program was exhausted,” Jones said. “The bye week came at the most appropriate time for us.”
Vols coach Butch Jones called Tennessee’s remaining five games is “a grind.”
“If you don’t play in this conference or coach in this conference, you have no idea in terms of the grind that it is mentally and physically on every team,” Jones said.
Jones said the remaining five weeks would be “more of a grind” than the first seven weeks of the season.
“We’re playing football teams and football programs that are progressively improving,” Jones said.
Tennessee’s first four SEC opponents – Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M and Alabama - combined for a 23-5 record to this point in this season. However, Tennessee’s remaining four opponents – South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt - have a combined 13-16 record this season.
“There are no bad teams in our conference,” Jones said.
Jones praised Gamecocks freshman quarterback Jake Bentley on Monday, calling Bentley a “mature competitor” with a “lively arm.”
Bentley threw for two touchdowns and 201 yards in Saturday’s 34-28 win against Massachusetts. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for South Carolina.
The Gamecocks enter Saturday’s game second to last in the FBS in scoring with an average of 16.9 points per game.
Tennessee leads the all-time series 25-7-2 against South Carolina. The series dates back to 1903.
Last season, the Vols beat the Gamecocks 27-24.
The Gamecocks last beat the Vols in a 38-35 contest on Oct. 27, 2012.
South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) hosts Tennessee at Williams-Brice Stadium at 7:15 p.m. ET Saturday. ESPN2 will broadcast the game.
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