Five predictions: Kentucky edition

Over the course of the season, I will be making five predictions for each of the South Carolina football games. Some may be bold, some may be safe, some may be right on target. This week we take a look at the the rematch from the 2010 SEC Championship game against Auburn.

1. Connor Shaw will have a quality start.

It's not about the numbers Saturday for Connor Shaw. He doesn't have to throw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns to have a quality start. In fact, he could throw for less than 200 yards and no touchdowns and it still be a quality start. If Shaw can lead an offense that has flow and rhythm to it will be a successful start for Shaw.

2. Defense holds Kentucky to under 150 yards

South Carolina very well could be without a key cog up front in Melvin Ingram, who is battling a foot injury suffered in last week's Auburn game. Without Ingram, the Gamecock defense will still be stout and should shut down a Kentucky offense that has been bad all season. With a healthy Ingram, Kentucky may not have been able to reach 100 yards.

3. Defense picks two, four sacks.

Nobody has struggled quite the way Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia has in the first half of this season. Morgan Newton comes close. Newton has thrown six interceptions and has been sacked 17 times, completing just 50% of his passes. Even without Ingram, the defensive line will record four sacks and the secondary will pick off two passes as Newton will be running for his life all afternoon.

4. Chaz Sutton has good game.

So far in 2011, Sutton has played a fairly limited role. With Devin Taylor, Ingram, and Jadeveon Clowney all in front of Sutton at defensive end, Sutton hasn't had an opportunity to make much of an impact. With Ingram at best limited by the injury, Sutton should get some more extra playing time this week. Look for it to pay off with Sutton getting his first sack of the season.

5. Offensive line gets a push.

Marcus Lattimore has struggled the last two weeks. While at times Vanderbilt and Auburn did stack seven or eight in the box, even at times when they didn't load the box the offensive line struggled to get a push. I dare say Lattimore has never been tackled behind the line of scrimmage as he has the last two weeks. Even if Shaw is able to loosen up the defense through the air, the offensive line still has to get a push inside against a physical Kentucky front.


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