5 Predictions: Kentucky edition

For the second year, 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 battle in the Bluegrass between South Carolina and Kentucky.

1. Shaw breaks record

In order for Connor Shaw to break the NCAA record for consecutive passes completed, he will have to begin the game 5-for-5. He has currently completed 20 consecutive passes, four short of the NCAA record held by Tennessee's Tee Martin. Martin completed 23 consecutive passes against South Carolina in 1998 and completed his first pass in the following game. Kentucky's pass defense is not very good, and Shaw will likely throw some short passes early on to get in a rhythm and will complete enough to break the record.

2. Lattimore runs wild

Marcus Lattimore was in the midst of a career day before being injured on the first series of the second half two years ago in Lexington. Lattimore had rushed for 79 yards and a pair of scores before the injury, but more impressively had 133 receiving yards and a score on four catches. Kentucky had no answer for him coming out of the backfield, using defensive ends or linebackers to cover. They were no match for Lattimore, who ran wheel route after wheel route. Expect for Lattimore to put up more great numbers in Lexington.

3. Smith feels the pressure

Kentucky quarterback Maxwell Smith is in the midst of an impressive season. The sophomore is on pace to throw for nearly 2,500 yards and 10+ touchdown passes, great numbers for a quarterback on such a poor team. One of the reasons he has had such a great season is the protection he has been given. The Kentucky offensive line has protected Smith well, giving up just five sacks on the seasons. Strength against strength will be the two lines going at each other. Carolina probably won't reach average sack total per game, but they will get to Smith often and record two sacks.

4. Gamecocks welcome back Auguste

Akeem Auguste will be making his first appearance since the Georgia game last season. It has been a long road for Auguste, who will likely only play 15-18 plays according to defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward. Look for Auguste to make a play in his return, whether it be an interception, pass break up, or making a nice tackle.

5. Gamecocks force three turnovers

South Carolina has forced eight turnovers this season, but was only able to force one last week against Missouri. South Carolina has forced 11 fumbles this season, but has only recovered three. That number will need to change the second half of the season. Carolina will pick off two passes and force a fumble.


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