GAMEDAY: UK vs. South Carolina

This feature has everything you need to know about Saturday's Kentucky-South Carolina matchup, including question marks at quarterback for both the Cats and the Gamecocks.

Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC.

Play-by-Play Bob Rathbun
Analyst Tim Couch
Sideline Elizabeth Moreau


Record: 1-3, 0-1 Southeastern Conference
Ranking: Not ranked
Last game: L, 24-7 vs. #19/20 Florida (H)
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)
Record: 1-3 (First season)
at UK: 1-3 (First season)
vs. USC: 0-0

Record: 3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference
Ranking: No. 13 (AP), No. 12 (USA Today)
Last game: W, 28-25 vs. UCF (A)
Coach: Steve Spurrier (Florida, 1966)
Record: 69-38 (Ninth season)
at USC: 211-78-2 (24th season)
vs. UK: 19-1

Overall: USC leads series 16-7-1
in Columbia: USC leads series 7-3-1
Last Meeting: SC defeated UK 38-17 in Lexington on Sept. 29, 2012

8/31 vs. WKU [ESPNews] (Nashville) L, 26-35
9/7 Miami (Ohio) [Fox South] W, 41-7
9/14 #7/7 Louisville [ESPN] L, 13-27
9/28 #19/20 Florida* [ESPNU] L, 7-24
10/5 at 13/12 South Carolina* [FSN] 7:30 p.m.
10/12 Alabama* TBA
10/24 at Mississippi State* [ESPN] 7:30 p.m.
11/2 Alabama State TBA
11/9 Missouri* TBA
11/16 at Vanderbilt* TBA
11/23 at Georgia* TBA
11/30 Tennessee* TBA

Note: all times Eastern and subject to change
* SEC game

8/29 vs. North Carolina W, 27-10
9/7 at Georgia L, 30-41
9/14 vs. Vanderbilt W, 35-25
9/28 at UCF W, 28-25
10/5 vs. Kentucky 7:30 p.m.
10/12 at Arkansas TBD
10/19 at Tennessee TBD
10/26 at Missouri TBD
11/2 vs. Mississippi State TBD
11/16 vs. Florida TBD
11/23 vs. Coastal Carolina 1 p.m.
11/30 vs. Clemson TBD

When Kentucky has the ball… The Wildcats have struggled to put together consistent drives in their last two outings, going a combined 1-for-21 on third downs in losses to Louisville and Florida. That must change Saturday if UK has any prayer of being competitive in its first true road test of the season. The Cats' starting quarterback remains a mystery, but whether it's Max Smith or Jalen Whitlow, the main guy is going to need some help from the other 10 players on the field, especially from the O-Line against an elite Gamecock D-Line led by Heisman hopeful Jadeveon Clowney (#7 – 12 TK, 3 TFL, 2 SK). The South Carolina defensive end is projected to be the No. 1 pick in next year's NFL Draft, so UK tackles Darrian Miller and Jordan Swindle will have to play their best games of the year to contain him depending on where he lines up. Clowney isn't the only disruptive Gamecock in the trenches. Kelcy Quarles (#99 – 9 TK, 3 TFL, 3 SK) is also a handful.

When South Carolina has the ball… The toughest part about facing a Steve Spurrier offense is knowing "The Ol' Ballcoach" will find your weakest link(s) and exploit them over and over until you make adjustments. The hunch here is that it could be a long day for UK's outside linebackers matched up against the Gamecocks' tight ends, backs and slot receivers. Like UK, South Carolina has a bit of a mystery at quarterback with regular starter Connor Shaw (#14 - 665 PA, 65% COMP, 6 TD, 0 INT, 232 RU) trying to bounce back from a shoulder injury, but as of Friday, he was expected to play over backup Dylan Thompson. Sophomore running back Mike Davis (#28 – 508 RU, 7.2 YPC, 6 TD, 127 REC) is the versatile catalyst for South Carolina. The familiar Bruce Ellington (#23 – 14-229 REC, 1 TD) who has played both football and basketball for the Gamecocks, is quarterback Connor Shaw's favorite target, but fellow junior Nick Jones (#3 – 12-136 REC) has turned three of his catches into touchdowns.

Senior running back Raymond Sanders has 1,247 career rushing yards and needs three more to tie Rod Stewart for 25th place on the UK career rushing list… Senior running back Jonathan George has 786 career rushing yards and needs just 214 more to become the 34th player in school history with 1,000 career rushing yards… Junior defensive end Bud Dupree has 11.5 career sacks, needing 6 more to tie for fourth most all-time in school history… Junior defensive end Za'Darius Smith has 4.5 sacks this season needing just 4.5 more to tie for the fourth most sacks in a season in school history (Jeremy Jarmon 9 in 2007, Oliver Barnett 9 in 1988).

Saturday marks the 17th time in school history that the Wildcats have played a game on Oct. 5. Kentucky holds an all-time record of 7-9 on this date. UK and South Carolina have never met on this date. The Cats' last game on this date was a 35-7 loss to Alabama in 1996. UK's last win on this date was a 26-7 victory over Clemson in 1985.

• The teams played just three times (1937, 1978 and 1981) before South Carolina joined the SEC for the 1992 season.

• Spurrier owns a 19-1 all-time record against Kentucky, including a 7-1 mark as head coach at South Carolina. The 19 wins matches his mark against Vanderbilt (19-2) as his most wins against any school.

• Kentucky is 1-5 all-time against ranked South Carolina teams.

• Thirteen games in the series have been decided by 7 points or less. South Carolina leads those 7-5-1.

• UK has three players on its current roster from the state of South Carolina, including Kory Brown (Moncks Corner), Farrington Huguenin (Columbia) and Donte Rumph (St. Matthews). South Carolina has no players on its 2013 roster from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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