The short-handed South Carolina Gamecocks, playing with just a handful of scholarship players (only a slight exaggeration on my part), fell 41-18 to the host Kentucky Wildcatso on Saturday in their regular-season finale.
Befitting two bad teams, both the and Wildcats got off to sluggish starts. South Carolina missed a 38-yard field goal to open the action, while Kentucky made a 22-yarder of its own in return to draw first blood at 3-0.
South Carolina's response was a fumble, and UK tacked on a Chris Rodriguez Jr. 1-yard score to go up 10-0. Parker White was true from 47 yards out to help the Gamecocks avoid a shutout, but the Wildcats got right back to work and padded their lead to 17-3 with an 8-yard AJ Rose touchdown jaunt.
Quarterback Luke Doty tossed an interception for South Carolina on its ensuing drive, but it was no harm done as both teams traded punts. But UK got back in the scoring column with another Rodriguez rushing touchdown to push the Wildcats' advantage to 24-3, and unfortunately, that wasn't the end of Kentucky's scoring in the first half, as UK added another field goal to take a 27-3 lead into the locker room.
Things didn't get any better to start the third quarter, as the Wildcats marched down the field and pushed their lead to 34-3 on a Terry Wilson keeper. Thankfully, Kevin Harris saved the Gamecocks from further embarrassment, rushing from 15 yards out to cut the lead to 34-10 -- and also reaching 1,000 yards on the season, South Carolina's first such rusher since Marcus Lattimore in 2013.
Dakereon Joyner provided the Gamecocks' last score off a 30-yard reception from Doty as the Wildcats salted the game away with yet another Rodriguez touchdown.
South Carolina falls to 2-8 and will await its possible bowl destination, since that's a (bizarre) possibility with conference and corporate ties overruling the usual eligibility requirements.