COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hendon Hooker's fourth-quarter fumbled in the fourth quarter while also going down with an injury, and that event capped off a night filled with despair as No. 5 Tennessee suffered a staggering 63-38 loss against South Carolina on Saturday night.
The Gamecocks scored a touchdown on five straight drives to start the contest, and the Tennessee defense had no answer for the South Carolina passing threat as the Vols' College Football Playoff chances took a massive blow.
SC quarterback Spencer Rattler diced up the Vols' defense for 438 passing yards and six touchdowns in a near-immaculate performance.
Tennessee's biggest struggle was its ability to execute on third and fourth-down stops. The Vols managed just one stop on 11 conversion opportunities for South Carolina. UT made three stops on third down, but the Gamecocks went on to convert two fourth-down attempts to follow.
Prior to the injury, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker went 25-42 passing for 247 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Jalin Hyatt caught six passes for 65 yards in his return to his home state but was targeted 12 times.
The Vols will close the regular season against in-state foe Vanderbilt next Saturday, Nov. 26 at 7:30 p.m.