Staff Predictions: Kentucky

The staff predicts the score of the Kentucky game. Look inside! Staff Predictions: Kentucky
Paul Stewart - Staff Writer
Have we heard the phrase "trap game" enough this week? That may be what most people are seeing, but I see a supremely talented South Carolina team going to Lexington and asserting their dominance against the Wildcats. Of course there is a chance for a letdown, but I think this is a Gamecock team that is determined and focused after beating Alabama last week.

Look for Stephen Garcia, Alshon Jeffery, and Marcus Lattimore to all have big ballgames and put the Wildcats away relatively early. Randall Cobb and Mike Hartline will be able to get their yards and points early on, but without Derrick Locke the Wildcats simply will not have enough offensive consistency to stay in the game. USC will be able to take control of the East and put themselves in the driver's seat as they move farther into the second half of the season.

South Carolina - 38
Kentucky - 17
David Porter - Beat Writer
I've struggled with this one a bit this week. Not that I don't know who should win this game, but I've struggled to find a score. I think the USC offense will be able to move down the field with relative ease, but I'm not sure whether it will be long, eight-nine minute drives or quick drives. USC will run the ball and will run it effectively. Marcus Lattimore should eclipse the 100-yard mark and continue his string of scoring a touchdown in every game. The Gamecocks have a potent arial attack, but how often will Spurrier feel the need to go to the air?

Kentucky has an underrated offense. They can really put points on the board, but have they played a defense as good as the Gamecocks? Florida could be a good argument for that, but they only gave up 14 points to the 'Cats. They've scored in the 30's the last two games, but both were losses to Ole Miss and Auburn. Neither of those defenses are as good as the Gamecock defense when they play the way they are capable of. Then you throw in the fact that Locke is likely out and I really don't think UK will put up enough points. I think the streak will move to 11 straight and this will be one of the rare games where the difference is by more than a touchdown.

South Carolina- 38
Kentucky - 13
Ryan Bethea - Photographer
One week after turning the tide, South Carolina is living large. If the solid victory over Alabama made a statement or legitimized the Gamecocks as a SEC contender, then a win over Kentucky will only add an exclamation point to a team, season, and program heading in the right direction. It's no secret that USC has simply had its way against the Wildcats over the last 1, 2, 10 years. There's no indication why that bizarre streak won't continue at least one more year.

Saturday has all the ingredients for a "here we go again" letdown but I just don't see Carolina falling flat. Not after last week. Kentucky will, as it usually does, give USC a game. The talent mismatch, however, will in itself be too much for the Cats. South Carolina will win its first away game since the 2009 season-opener in Raleigh.

South Carolina - 38
Kentucky - 20
Wes Mitchell
After last Saturday's historic win, today's game against Kentucky has been the popular pick as an upset of the Gamecocks. It's only natural for there to be some emotional letdown after the biggest win in program history. But Kentucky is without Derrick Locke, and despite having a good offense, that will hurt the Wildcats. I expect them to be able to move the ball with the short passing game and the Wildcat as they were able to last year, but the combination of Stephen Garcia, Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery should be too much for the Wildcats to out-score.

South Carolina - 35
Kentucky - 27

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