South Carolina found themselves in quite a hole in the first half against Kentucky.
The Gamecocks came out flat and uninspired as the under-matched Kentucky Wildcats outplayed their highly-ranked opponent. Nothing was working for South Carolina in all aspects of the game. The offense was struggling to find any sort of rhythm. Connor Shaw had limited time for downfield pass plays and was forced out of the pocket on multiple occasions. Marcus Lattimore was only carried the ball five times in the first half and South Carolina had no running room at all finishing with 26 total rushing yards as a team into halftime.
Things looked bleak as the Gamecocks headed to the locker room down 17-7 to Kentucky. South Carolina had no answer against the Kentucky defense and would have to sit and wait after halftime as Kentucky received the ball to start the second half.
How would the Gamecocks respond after a poor first half? We got our answer and it was like how you would expect the number six team in the country to respond.
After a defensive stop by the Gamecocks gave the offense the ball, South Carolina proceeded to score on its next possession to bring the lead down to 17-14 in favor of the Wildcats. Lattimore carried the ball two times for 15 yards on this scoring drive but would finally get the call everyone was waiting for as he took over for the Gamecocks the rest of the way.
Lattimore would carry the ball three times for 17 yards on the next scoring drive for the Gamecocks that would put them out front 21-17. The next drive would be a perfect example of what Marcus Lattimore can bring to the table. Lattimore carried the ball 10 times for 61 yards and scored the touchdown for South Carolina as they essentially demolished this Kentucky defense with the power running game behind the legs of Marcus Lattimore.
South Carolina finally looked like a top ten ranked football team and Marcus Lattimore was a big reason why. He looked like he got more comfortable as the night went along and he looks like he is completely confident in making cuts on the field. He's lost the knee brace that was so cumbersome and exchanged it for a sleeve that allows for more flexibility.
There was nothing the junior running back did in the second half that should question whether or not he's ready for the workload. Steve Spurrier mentioned after the game that maybe the Gamecocks should line up in the I-formation and run Marcus Lattimore more. He called it his "secret." After five carries in the first half for 12 yards, Lattimore carried the ball 18 times for 108 yards and two touchdowns in the second half. This is a player that gets better the more opportunities he has to run the ball and it showed again tonight.
Secret or no secret, Marcus Lattimore is the key to the Gamecocks success. He was once again the answer for South Carolina tonight as he took over in the second half and helped the Gamecocks erase a 10-point lead at halftime and turn it into a 21-point victory.
Marcus Lattimore is ready and he'll answer the call like he always does.
Marcus Lattimore answers the call
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