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Previewing Kentucky at South Carolina: Topics for Discussion on the 'Cats Defense

As you've probably heard, UK CBs Trevard Lindley and Paul Warford are doubtful for Saturday. What should we expect from the 'Cats, and can we take advantage? I'm assuming that (1) inexperienced Randall Burden and Martavius Neloms will play a lot and (2) Kentucky will back off it's man coverage without shut-down corner Lindley in the game. Our passing game should benefit from Lindley and Warford's absence, which could lead to the entire offense opening up. However, we'll have to take advantage. Look for us to try to work the zone with underneath plays and to try to send Moe Brown or Tori Gurley deep if Kentucky scoots the safeties up. Things could get ugly if Kentucky gives us too many chances to beat their young corners deep.

Can Kentucky generate a pass rush? Without their starting corners in the game to shut down our receivers, Kentucky will be even more likely to go for broke and try to get to Garcia and hope he makes a mistake before he can get anything going. Is our line, which has struggled a bit on pass blocking, up to the task? Is Garcia ready with the right audibles when the blitz comes? Is he ready to scramble after being a little banged up over the past two weeks? The answer to these questions could be the difference between a huge and a struggling day for the Gamecocks offense.

Kentucky gave up 200+ rushing yards to Alabama and 350+ yards to Florida. Can we run the ball against the 'Cats? We don't have quite the rushing attack that Alabama has and we certainly don't have anything resembling the Tebow / Demps / Rainey / Moody show. However, as long as we move the ball through the air efficiently enough to keep Kentucky honest, we should be able to move the ball fairly well against the 'Cats. I'll say that I hope we see a varied set of looks on Saturday; we've run the ball well out of the I and other formations against our lesser opponents this year, but in the big games we've gotten a little more predictable, mainly using draw plays. I see no reason why we can't open things up more against our SEC opponents.