Kentucky at South Carolina: Three Keys and Prediction

Kevin C. Cox

The Kentucky Wildcats are coming to town to take on our Gamecocks. What needs to happen in this game?

Three Keys to Victory

3. Stay healthy. Not a key to victory, exactly, but the truth is that we should beat Kentucky. They're in a transition year and the game is at home; we're 20+-point favorites. I don't mean this with any disrespect to UK, but we could probably win this game with Brendan Nosovitch starting. We need to work through this game without any major injuries, because the following three games will probably define our season. If we win them all, it will be awesome. If we lose one, all is not lost. But if we lose two out of three, which is a definite possibility with a hurt starting QB, that's pretty much the season unless we unleash some serious blowout-age against CU at the end of the year, which is unlikely given how they look so far. If Shaw indeed starts tomorrow, I'd love to see him lead an early TD drive and then to rest that shoulder.

2. Take over early. Kentucky has struggled so far this year. How long will they last emotionally if we get out to a big lead? Probably not long. The Gamecocks need to step up early in this game and put the game out of reach early. Kentucky is not likely to be able to make a comeback.

1. Play smart football. The Gamecocks have Kentucky significantly outmatched athletically, and Kentucky is further suffering from a transition year in which its offense is moving into the Air Raid without the proper personnel. I hate to be overly optimistic about any SEC matchup, especially against a team that has given us some headaches over the years, but we should beat Kentucky unless we turn the ball over, commit penalties (love this discussion of the effect penalties can have on a game), and give up big plays.

Prediction

42-14 South Carolina. The Gamecocks may give up a big play or two defensively, but barring point-swing turnovers, we shouldn't give up too many points, and our offense will likely overpower UK's defense.

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