Start to Finish- South Carolina vs. Kentucky

South Carolina (3-2, 2-2 SEC) will make their way to Lexington to face Eastern Division foe Kentucky (3-1, 1-1 SEC) at Commonwealth Stadium Saturday, Oct. 4. True freshman D.J. Smith will make his first start, alongside T.J. Gurley, and the Gamecocks will be aiming to finish off a game against the Wildcats.

Following the 21-20 loss against Missouri, coach Ward is pleased with his team’s work effort this week

“I think we practiced well,” said Ward. “I think the guys understand that the season’s not over, by no means. A lot of teams have to play a lot of games. We’ve played more SEC games than anybody in the conference so there will be some other teams that get some losses, so we’ve still got a lot to play for.”

The defense will be showing off its same line-up as last week, with D.J. Smith joining the mix.

“We’re going to start D.J. at the free safety spot,” said coach Lorenzo Ward. “We’re going to try to get a more physical guy. Chaz (Elder) did a good job of showing range, but I want a guy who’s going to go over there and make some contact when you get there.”

However this Saturday, it’s all about finishing off the game strong.

“It’s not about how we finished just (the Missouri) game, we didn’t finish the Vandy game. We’re not finishing, so that’s something we talked about this week. We also addressed starting fast. We don’t start fast. We’ve got to stop teams from scoring on the first drive. That’s been their focus this week.”

The Gamecocks gave up two touchdowns with only 7:25 left in the game against the Tigers last Saturday, and against Vanderbilt, South Carolina gave up a touchdown with less than one minute left in the game.

Not only will South Carolina need to finish off strong, but get off to a good start. Darrius Sims 91-yard kick-off return score at the beginning of the game in Nashville enabled the Commodores to keep a lead until halftime.

USC will need to keep Kentucky from gaining that momentum and scoring early on.

Injury report for Saturday's game:
-Offensive guard Cody Waldrop did not practice on Thursday and is doubtful for Saturday.

The Gamecocks will have their usual Friday walk-thru at Williams-Brice Stadium on Friday afternoon before taking a late afternoon flight to Lexington.


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