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Inside Enemy Territory: Kentucky

In which Wildcats fans give the Gamecock faithful a run for their money.

Everyone’s favorite Wildcat, Kash Daniel.
Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to Inside Enemy Territory, where we’re taking the temperature of Big Blue Nation over at Cats Illustrated’s Wildcat Lair. Compared to this time last year, when the Cats were enjoying an historic season, the mood is a lot different and considerably darker in Lexington after a miserable loss to Florida and a whipping at the hands of Mississippi State. In fact, Kentucky fans and South Carolina fans could probably bond over quite a bit right now, if that maddening streak didn’t have most Gamecocks too salty to even think about UK. Let’s dive into it.

I think this weekend is THE swing game in the season. If we had won UF and lost MSU, then this weekend would not have been so critical. But, we didn’t, so it is.

If the Gamecocks hadn’t lost to Missouri, this weekend wouldn’t have been so critical, but they did — so it is. Of course, this weekend would have been critical regardless, given that UK is aiming for six in a row and this schedule doesn’t have many toss-up games left to speak of. But yeah, an already important game has become even bigger for South Carolina. No pressure!

Backed into a corner like a wild animal but so is USC. That game is going to be emotional with Hey makers thrown.

I’m actually hoping this team doesn’t play with too much emotion, because the last time that happened against Kentucky (coincidentally, also a night game at Williams-Brice), it resulted in Loss No. 4 to the Wildcats. Just play smart, please.

I also think SC is better than their record indicates. IN some ways Muschamp is fighting for his job and for SC to lose 6 in a row to us might be the nail in his coffin.

I would like to think this team is better than its record indicates, but given the up-and-down quality of play we’ve seen through four games so far, it’s honestly hard to say. Six in a row to Kentucky would indeed be very difficult for South Carolina fans and stakeholders to stomach, but Will Muschamp is almost certainly safe through the end of this season and may even be safe through 2020 as well thanks to a combination of his ludicrous buyout and athletic director Ray Tanner’s continued and very loud support. I think the wheels would really have to come off for Muschamp to be out the door in 2019, and while losing to UK would be a piece of that, it would have to be the tip of the iceberg.

Anybody with a lick of sense didn’t expect a repeat of last season. However, it isn’t asking too much to expect to be past giving a game away due to playing not to lose and giving a game away due to not showing up for the first half of another game.

Playing not to lose, you say? This could be a titanic clash of stoppable force vs. movable object.

UK has the talent to compete but the game plans and coaching staff need to get into 2019.

Well, at least we’re not the only SEC fan base with this gripe, I guess.

I’m so sick of Stoops and his conservatism when the game clearly isn’t over. He calls the dogs off when we’re nursing a lead that is easy to come back from. If we’re up 45-7 then yes, I totally understand trying to run the clock out. But when we only have 21-10 leads with 5 minutes left in the 3rd Quarter, you simply cannot sit back and try to run it up the middle play after play, possession after possession.

Seriously, am I looking into a mirror here?

There’s actually comparatively little discussion about the game this weekend — not even smug references to the streak! — because most of UK’s message board denizens appear to be in various stages of grief about their season as a whole. In conclusion: