Football Earns 38-17 Win Over Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Sixth
ranked South Carolina erased a 10-point halftime deficit and scored
four touchdowns in the second half on the way to a 38-17 victory over
Kentucky on Saturday night at Commonwealth Stadium. The Gamecocks are
5-0 on the year and 3-0 in the SEC while the loss drops Kentucky to 1-4
overall and 0-2 in the league.
South Carolina owns a nine-game winning streak dating back to last
year, tied for the longest winning streak in school history. The
Gamecocks won nine consecutive games in 1984.
Junior running back Marcus Lattimore carried 23 times for 120 rushing
yards and tallied two touchdowns with junior quarterback Connor Shaw
going 15-for-18 in the air for 148 yards and two touchdowns as well as
19 carries for 76 yards on the ground.
Trailing 17-7 at halftime, the Gamecocks scored on their opening
possession of the second half to cut the deficit to three points. A
14-yard rush to convert a third down followed by an 11-yard rush by
Shaw set up a 30-yard touchdown pass to Damiere Byrd. It marked Byrd's
second touchdown reception of the season.
After the defense forced a three and out, the Gamecock offense drove 57
yards on the next drive to regain the lead. Carolina mixed the run and
the pass on an eight-play drive that was capped by a 17-yard touchdown
run by Kenny Miles. The touchdown was Miles first of the season and put
Carolina ahead 21-17.
The defense was stellar for Carolina in the third quarter limiting
Kentucky to just 33 yards. After being held to just 12 yards in the
first half, Marcus Lattimore carried eight times for 49 yards in the
third quarter as well.
With a four-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, South
Carolina put the game away with two more touchdown scores and a field
goal. The Gamecocks' longest drive of the season in time of possession,
7:12, was capped by a three-yard touchdown run by Lattimore. It was a
14-play, 81-yard drive that featured 63 rushing yards by Lattimore.
The Gamecocks held a 28-17 lead with the defense continuing its steady
play. DeVonte Holloman intercepted Kentucky quarterback Whitlow on the
next possession with freshman defensive tackle Gerald Dixon Jr. coming
up with another interception in the Wildcats' next possession. Dixon
Jr.'s interception set up Lattimore's second touchdown of the game,
this one from four yards out. Carolina would add a 31-yard field goal
late in the fourth quarter by Adam Yates to complete the scoring. After
allowing 173 total yards in the first half, the defense delivered in
the second half limiting the Wildcats to just 70 yards of offense in
the final 30 minutes of the game with no points allowed as well. South
Carolina's offense was stellar in the second half scoring 31 points and
gaining 240 yards. The Gamecocks also rushed for 184 yards in the
The Gamecocks appeared to be going in for the first score of the game
midway through the first quarter on their second drive of the game.
With 3rd and goal from the Kentucky 1-yardline - the Kentucky defense
stood tall and stopped South Carolina on a pair of quarterback sneaks
to take over on downs near the goalline.
The Wildcats rode the momentum of their defense putting together a
16-play 94-yard drive before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Craig
McIntosh that gave Kentucky a 3-0 lead. Twice, the Wildcats converted a
pair of 3rd and long conversions on 12-yard rush by Jalen Whitlow and a
24-yard rush from Sanders. A key 20-yard pass completion to Demarco
Robinson as well as a 15-yard face mask penalty gave Kentucky the ball
deep in Carolina territory. However, the Gamecock defense responded on
its own with a goalline stand, forcing McIntosh to have to kick his
first field goal of the game.
South Carolina broke ahead of Kentucky in the second quarter going 64
yards in their second drive of the period. Shaw got the drive going
with both his legs and his arm. He rushed for 11 yards and completed a
pair of passes to Marcus Lattimore as well as a 37-yard completion to
Rory Anderson that put the Gamecocks into scoring position. Deep into
Kentucky territory, Shaw found Ace Sanders for a three-yard touchdown
reception giving the Gamecocks a 7-3 lead.
Kentucky answered the Gamecocks on their next possession though with a
touchdown of its own to regain the lead. Whitlow also had a steady dose
of rushes and passes before capping the drive with an eight-yard
touchdown run. The Wildcats were also aided on the drive by a 15-yard
face mask penalty by the Gamecocks that moved Kentucky deep into South
With a three-point lead, Kentucky held the Gamecock offense to a three
and out and blocked Tyler Hull's punt giving the Wildcats the ball on
the South Carolina 34-yardline. As Kentucky threatened, the Gamecocks
suffered a bad break as a tipped pass by Gamecock defensive back Jimmy
Legree landed in the hands of UK wide receiver Daryl Collins as
Kentucky made its way into the red zone. Raymond Sanders capped the
drive with a 10-yard touchdown run that increased Kentucky's lead to
South Carolina returns to action next Saturday hosting Georgia at
Williams-Brice Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. with the game
televised live on ESPN.