Tennessee coach Derek Dooley doesn't know what it's like to go to war, but his Vols will again be battle tested Saturday when they travel to Columbia, S.C., to face 20th-ranked South Carolina.

Don't expect the Gamcocks to be spooked either as the Vols try to muster its first Southeastern Conference victory.

"This is probably the best team (South Carolina has) had, certainly since 2001," Dooley said. "They haven't lost a game at their house, so we've got a heck of a challenge. It doesn't get any easier, even though some people think we are out of the woods."

The Vols featured a two-quarterback system last week against Alabama. However, neither signal-caller could separate himself from the other in the game or in practice this week.

Dooley said both quarterbacks put together nice drives and played well but couldn't find ways to finish them off.

"Chances are we are going to stick with the same plan," Dooley said. "(Junior) Matt (Simms) is a little dinged up. So, we will see how they do in practice."

Tennessee walks into Williams-Brice Stadium as a double-digit underdog and will need another productive outing from junior running back Tauren Poole.

Poole, who became the first running back to rush for more than 100 yards against Alabama in 41 games, has garnered 595 rushing yards on 109 carries this season, including six touchdowns.

"When you have a younger, inexperienced team, you are always going to work fundamentals a little bit more," Dooley said. "We could have three spring practices. We need them."

The Vols have outscored their opponents 88-72 in the first half, but their opponents have controlled the second half by scoring 126 points, while Tennessee has scored just 58.

"We played a good game (against Alabama)," weak-side linebacker Herman Lathers said. "We are getting more and more confident as we go. There have been some mental breakdowns in the third quarter that have really hurt us."

Tennessee's defense is giving up 403 yards per game, including 242 passing yards, and the Big Orange will need to contain a talented South Carolina offense.

"The formula on any good offense is great runner, great receivers and a quarterback who's playing really well," Dooley said. "And they've got all three."

Though the Vols are allowing 3.57 sacks each game, the Volunteers' offensive line was improved last weekend against Alabama, surrendering only two sacks to one of the best defenses in the country.

"I'm starting to get more comfortable," freshman quarterback Tyler Bray said. "It helps when the O-line has been blocking their butts off. They've been doing a great job, so that helps and takes the press off of me."

However, Tennessee will be hard-pressed to slow down a South Carolina defensive front that ranks fourth nationally with 24 sacks this season.

"They're fast, they're physical, they run to the football, and they fly around," Dooley said of the Gamecock's defense.

The Vols will need to get the most out of an inexperienced team, which has seen 23 freshmen take the field this season, for their match-up with the Gamecocks.

"It worries me that we talk about, well, they're inexperienced or we're not very deep," Dooley said. "It's an excuse not to win, and it can't ever get that way."

While the Big Orange had a disappointing outing in practice Tuesday, Dooley doesn't expect the problems to continue.

"There are certain values in the organization that will never be compromised," Dooley said. "Never. And one of them is how you approach your work every day. The attitude you approach it with, the mental intensity you approach it with and the toughness you approach it with. When that's not to our standard, it needs to get confronted."