South Carolina opened a 10-0 lead late in the first half with a 42-yard field goal by Ryan Succop.
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, who entered the game tied for second in the nation with 14 touchdown passes, got another one Saturday, a 9-yard pass to Dicky Lyons Jr. late in the fourth quarter. Lyons' touchdown, his seventh of the year, followed a 63-yard reception which put the Cats in position to score.
That touchdown pulled the Wildcats to within seven, at 24-17, with three minutes remaining. An onside kick ensued but Lones Seiber's attempt sailed out of bounds. South Carolina ate all but 22 seconds of the remaining time, leaving Kentucky with no chance to score.
Woodson, (18-32, 286 yards) threw a costly third-quarter interception that set up a second Gamecocks touchdown, a 5-yard run.
The Wildcats, unable to score in the first half, resorted to some trick plays to loosen the Gamecocks defense. First, punter Tim Mastay faked a punt for a 17-yard gain. Rafael Little dived over the top of the pile with the Cats at the Gamecock goaline, and appeared to score. Little did not have the ball, however. Woodson did, and he ran unopposed into the end zone.
Kentucky, now 3-3 (1-2 in SEC) missed an opportunity to improve to a winning record in the SEC. The Cats now travel to Baton Rouge, La., where they will meet 9th ranked LSU, which lost to Florida earlier today.