We've got your USC-UK preview right here, folks.
Three Keys to Victory
3. Randall Cobb
The multi-talented Kentucky WR / QB / KR is the guy to keep your eye on when UK has the ball. He's by far the most explosive player on the team, and you'll likely see Kentucky try to ride him into contention in this game. If Derrick Locke doesn't play, though, it may be too much of a load for Cobb.
2. Run the Ball
If Gwinnett and Skulls didn't give it away today, we here at GABA like Marcus Lattimore to have a good game tomorrow. The 'Cats have a woeful run defense, and as long as our offensive line plays somewhere in the distant vicinity of how it played against 'Bama last week, we should have no trouble moving the ball on the ground against UK. If we can do that and keep our defense off the field and fresh and Kentucky's defense on the field and fatiguing, we should be able to build a small lead by halftime that we can build on quite a bit in the second half as UK loses its wheels on defense. I could see this being a game where Lattimore runs for 150 or so and either Brian Maddox or Kenny Miles get another 50 when they come in with fresh legs in the fourth to grind the clock.
It should also be noted that relying on the running game should help us avoid the kinds of turnovers that can be fatal in a game like this.
1. No Letdown
We just beat Alabama, folks. The same team that beat Florida like a rented mule. Florida beat Kentucky just as badly. If we play close to our best, we should be able to win this one, likely with relative comfort. If we come out feeling entitled and / or turn the ball over a few times, we'll lose. It's that simple. Come ready to play, guys.
What It Means
Steve Spurrier and others have made a lot of the importance of this game over the course of the week. Kentucky won't be the best team we play, and a loss will hardly put the East out of reach. Kentucky is a dangerous team, though, and this game is a huge test for a team that still has a lot to prove. We've never had success like this before, and it's important to show that we can handle the burden. A loss in this game would negate a lot of the good will produced by the 'Bama game, and it would seriously endanger what right now looks like a very real possibility that we might win 10 games for only the second time in school history. It's not the most glamorous game of the season, but it's a big one.
I've worried about this game quite about this week. However, after further reflection, I simply believe we're too good this year and that Kentucky, while dangerous, just doesn't have the horses to beat us, especially on defense. This one might be close throughout the first half, but a deeper Carolina team will ride a powerful running game to a convincing victory in the second half. I predict a score in the vicinity of 38-20.