KENTUCKY vs. SOUTH CAROLINA
Saturday, 7:30 ET
Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY.
TV • SEC NETWORK
SATELLITE RADIO • Channel 190 – XM, Channel 93 – Sirius
Record: 3-1, 1-1 Southeastern Conference
Ranking: Not ranked
Last game: W, vs. Vanderbilt 17-7
Coach: Mark Stoops (Iowa, 1989)
Record: 5-11 (Second season)
at UK: 5-11 (Second season)
vs. USC: 0-1
SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS:
Record: 3-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference
Ranking: Not ranked (RV)
Last game: L, vs. Missouri 21-20
Coach: Steve Spurrier (Florida, 1966)
Record: 222-81-2 (25th season)
at USC: 80-41 (10th season)
vs. UK: 20-1
Overall: USC leads 17-7-1
In Lexington: South Carolina leads 9-4
Last meeting: USC 35-28 in Columbia (Oct. 5, 2013)
KENTUCKY SCHEDULE, RESULTS:
8/30 UT Martin [SEC Network] W, 59-14
9/6 Ohio [ESPNU] W, 20-3
9/13 at Florida* [SEC Network] L, 30-36 3OT
9/27 Vanderbilt* [SEC Network] W, 17-7
10/4 South Carolina* [SEC Network] 7:30 p.m.
10/11 UL-Monroe, Noon [SEC Network]
10/18 at LSU* TBA
10/25 Mississippi State* TBA
11/1 at Missouri* TBA
11/8 Georgia* TBA
11/15 at Tennessee* TBA
11/29 at Louisville TBA
All times ET; * SEC game
SOUTH CAROLINA SCHEDULE, RESULTS:
08/28 Texas A&M* L, 28-52
09/06 East Carolina W, 33-23
09/13 Georgia* W, 38-35
09/20 at Vanderbilt* W, 48-34
09/27 Missouri* L, 20-21
10/04 at Kentucky* 7:30 p.m. ET
10/18 vs. Furman TBA
10/25 at Auburn* TBA
11/01 Tennessee* TBA
11/15 at Florida* TBA
11/22 vs. South Alabama TBA
11/29 at Clemson TBA
All times ET; * SEC game
BIG BLUE KEYS TO THE GAME:
When Kentucky has the ball… South Carolina had to replace a pair of All-Americans this season following the departure of defensive linemen Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles. The Gameocks still have talent on that side of the ball, but it’s been a difficult transition so far with a brutal early schedule featuring three of the better offenses in the country in Texas A&M, East Carolina and Georgia. South Carolina looked better defensively last week against Missouri, forcing 10 punts, but has been highly susceptible to the big play this season. The Gamecocks have given up 87 plays this season of 10 plays or longer, a staggering figure, and 28 plays of 20 yards or longer. The Cats will need a few of those from Patrick Towles & Co. to pull the upset. Keep an eye on UK junior tailback Braylon Heard as a key rushing and pass-catching matchup in this one.
When South Carolina has the ball… The Boy Scout motto applies any time your defense is facing a Steve Spurrier offense: be prepared. For anything. There are always more than a few wrinkles and perhaps even a few trick plays up The Ol’ Ball Coach’s sleeve, and he has loved pulling them out against the Cats in the past. South Carolina has been remarkably balanced this season, running the ball 178 times and throwing it 179. Mike Davis (No. 28, 5-9, 223, Jr.) is one of the league’s top backs. He has rushed for 368 yards and three touchdowns this season, averaging 4.6 yards per carry. Many analysts believe Spurrier may try to simplify things against UK, leaning on the power running game, so slowing down Davis could be the main key to the game. When the Gamecocks need to throw, Dylan Thompson (No. 17 6-3, 218, Sr.) has been solid, completing 61 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and just three interceptions.
Senior defensive end Alvin “Bud” Dupree has 17.5 career sacks, needing only 1.5 more to tie for second most all-time in school history with Dennis Johnson (1998-2001). Dupree currently leads all active SEC players in sacks… Senior wide receiver Demarco Robinson is 297 yards away from becoming only the 23rd player in UK history to record 1,000-plus receiving yards.
ON THIS DAY IN UK HISTORY:
Saturday marks the 16th time in program history that Kentucky has played on October 4th with the Wildcats holding a 9-6 record all-time on games played on this date. One of the biggest wins in program history came on Oct. 4, 1997, when UK defeated Alabama 40-34 in overtime on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Tim Couch to Craig Yeast as fans took down the goalposts at Commonwealth Stadium in celebration.
• Kentucky has three players on its 2014 roster from South Carolina, including junior defensive tackle Cory “C.J.” Johnson and junior defensive end Farrington Huguenin, who are both from Columbia, S.C. The third UK player from the state of South Carolina is freshman wide receiver Blake Bone, who is from Woodruff, S.C. The Gameocks do not have a player on its 2014 from the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
• UK ranks high nationally in several categories, checking in 19th in interceptions, 23rd in passing yards allowed, 13th in scoring defense, 25th in total defense and 16th in turnover margin.
• The Wildcat defense has not allowed a TD in the first half in four consecutive games for the first time since 1979.
• UK’s defense has faced 52 opponent drives through four games and have allowed touchdowns in just 15 percent of those drives (six times, including two overtime touchdowns allowed at Florida).