The 2020 season is going to be strange for the Tennessee Vols and the rest of the SEC.

Not only will the Vols play a ten-game conference only schedule, but they’ll likely play their games in front of no fans or a limited number of fans.

It’ll definitely be a season no one will ever forget.

But as far as the actual games go, with a ten-game schedule (instead of the usual 12 games) every game will be a bit more important.

Tennessee has a fairly tough schedule to navigate. In addition to their already eight scheduled games (which includes matchups against Alabama, Florida, and Georgia), the Vols will also play Auburn and Texas A&M.

Finishing 6-4 would be a good season for Tennessee. Finishing 7-3 would be outstanding for Jeremy Pruitt in his third year as the Vols’ head coach.

But for either of those outcomes to happen, there are a couple of games that UT absolutely can’t afford to lose.

And the one that sticks out the most to 247Sports analyst Bud Elliott is the matchup against South Carolina.

Tennessee Vols

Here’s what Elliott had to say about Tennessee’s matchup against South Carolina.

Tennessee has a bit of an undercover game it can’t afford to lose: at South Carolina. The Vols have got the better of the Gamecocks of late, but in a schedule littered with tough games, this is a road contest Tennessee has to win if it wants to get to seven wins.

Elliott is on point here. The Vols’ matchup against South Carolina is a game that could fly under the radar a bit.

Tennessee knows they’re going to have a semi-tough matchup against a well-coached Kentucky team in 2020. That’s a game the Vols should win, but I don’t think Tennessee will be overlooking the Wildcats.

The Vols should also cruise against the Gamecocks, a team that went 4-8 last season. But South Carolina, despite their tough luck last season, isn’t a pushover.

Will Muschamp may be on the hot seat, but his team is still quite capable of pulling off an upset (just ask the Georgia Bulldogs, a team that lost at home to South Carolina last season).

UT can’t afford to lose this game if they’re going to finish with a winning record in 2020. It’ll be a pivotal matchup for Pruitt and his Volunteers.

Featured image via Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports/Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
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