The fifth installment of the Games of the Decade series is the first game we’ve had which was played in Neyland Stadium, the 2013 upset of No. 11 South Carolina. Check out No. 7: Battle at Bristol here.
Tennessee came into its October 19 matchup with No. 11 South Carolina losers of three of its last four and having lost a heartbreaking 34-31 overtime game to No. 6 Georgia in its previous contest.
But you wouldn’t know any of that based on the team that showed up to take on the Gamecocks in Neyland Stadium that day.
Tennessee opened the scoring with a Michael Palardy 37-yard field goal in the first quarter.
After several punts traded by the teams, South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw connected with Damiere Byrd on a 75-yard touchdown pass to give Carolina a 7-3 lead.
But the Volunteers answered, scoring the final 14 points of the first half on a Justin Worley touchdown pass to Pig Howard and a touchdown run by Raijon Neal to take a 17-7 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter, though, was all South Carolina. The Gamecocks answered Tennessee’s run with 14 points of their own on touchdown runs from Mike Davis and Connor Shaw and regained the lead, 21-17.
After a 9-play drive stalled in the red zone to begin the fourth quarter, Michael Palardy connected on a 33-yard field goal to cut the Carolina lead to 21-20 with just over 10:00 to go in the game.
Both teams were held off the scoreboard for most of the quarter, and the Volunteers got the ball back on their own 35-yard line with 2:48 remaining and trailing by a point.
After incompletions on first and second down, Justin Worley corked a pass down the sideline that was somehow hauled in by Marquez North for a 39-yard completion to put the Vols into field goal range.
Marlin Lane carried the ball down to the South Carolina 2-yard line, where Michael Palardy set up to attempt the game-winning field goal.
The lefty’s kick sailed through the uprights as time expired to give Tennessee the 23-21 win over the No. 11 Gamecocks.
The win was Tennessee’s first over a ranked opponent and an SEC team under Butch Jones. While the rest of the 2013 season — or the Butch Jones era, for that matter — may not have gone the way Tennessee fans would have hoped, this game was an exciting win in a great atmosphere in Neyland Stadium.