The Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 SEC) used a ball-control offense and some key third-down conversions to maximize on South Carolina mistakes. Suddenly, after two less-than-stellar performances to start the year, the Wildcats find them tied atop the SEC East standings with a huge showdown looming in a week against Florida.
Kentucky 23, South Carolina 13: Recap, box score
- South Carolina wasted no time in this one. Deebo Samuel goes 68 yards to the house on a pass from Jake Bentley to start the game. Gamecocks lead 6-0 after 13 seconds.
- And on Kentucky’s first series, Stephen Johnson throws Kentucky’s first interception of the season. Brutal start for the Cats.
- It’s not really clear why Eddie Gran is sticking with the wildcat.
- Kentucky somehow leads 7-6 after the first quarter. The Cats allowed a 68-yard score on the first play and turned it over twice, but both sides of the ball really settled in after that. The wildcat is even starting to work.
- This game has totally swung. Everything was going South Carolina’s way early, but Kentucky has since done just about anything it wants. The Wildcats lead 14-6 with 8:34 left before halftime. Eddie Gran is calling quite the game.
- HALFTIME: Kentucky 14, South Carolina 6
- Kentucky gets a big stop on 4th and 1 with 10:54 left in the 3rd quarter. The Cats still lead 14-6. Not the first time the Kentucky defense has come up big.
- Kentucky is doubling up South Carolina in time of possession. The Cats’ three scoring drives have all been five and a half minutes and longer. An Austin MacGinnis field goal just gave Kentucky a 17-6 lead with 5:25 left in the 3rd.
- End of the 3rd: Kentucky 17, South Carolina 6. The Gamecocks are facing third and goal from the 4-yard line.
- Kentucky opens the quarter with a huge stop on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line. South Carolina is 0 for 2 on 4th down and 3 for 10 on 3rd down.
- Kentucky has extended its lead to 20-6 with another field goal, but South Carolina marched down the field deep in Wildcats’ territory. On 4th-and-6, Jake Bentley has all the time in the world and finds OrTre Smith in the back of the endzone for a touchdown. Kentucky 20, South Carolina 13; 6:26 left in the 4th quarter.
- What an answer! On third down, Stephen Johnson breaks free and runs the ball all the way inside the 10-yard line and goes down. Smart play, to allow more time off the clock. Wow. Clock moving under 3 minutes left in the game now.
- Kentucky settles for a short field goal to push the lead to 23-10 with 2:06 remaining. South Carolina only has one timeout left and will have to score twice to tie.
- Baity! BALLGAME! Baity picks off Bentley to end this one. Man, the game against Florida in 7 days is going to be HUGE for the Cats.
Kentucky-South Carolina football game time, details
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017
Location: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.
Odds: South Carolina -6
What TV channel is the Kentucky-South Carolina football game on?
The SEC Network will broadcast the Kentucky-South Carolina football game on Saturday.
How can I watch the Kentucky-South Carolina football game online?
Fans can stream the Kentucky-South Carolina football game online at WatchESPN.com or via the WatchESPN app.
How can I listen to the Kentucky-South Carolina football game on the radio?
Fans in Lexington can listen to the Kentucky-South Carolina football game on 630 AM or 98.1 FM, and fans in Louisville can hear the game on 840 AM. The game will also be broadcast on satellite radio on XM 191 or Sirius 138.
Kentucky-South Carolina football preview, keys to the game
1. Contain Deebo Samuel
Just how big of an impact has Deebo Samuel had through two games? Enough to where some think he’s in the early Heisman Trophy conversation. The junior wide receiver leads the Gamecocks with 10 receptions for 128 yards and 2 touchdowns. And that’s just catching the ball. He’s also a terror in the return game, having found the end zone twice on kickoff returns.
2. Control the clock
Kentucky’s offense isn’t built to blow anyone out, and controlling the clock will be imperative on the road. Long, sustained drives will keep what should be a rowdy crowd under relative control. Quarterback Stephen Johnson has proven he can manage games and Benny Snell, if at 100 percent, should shoulder the load for Kentucky’s offense.
3. Pressure Jake Bentley
One way to contain Samuel is to contain the guy in charge of getting him the ball. Kentucky had the luxury of facing former quarterback Brandon McIlwain instead of Jake Bentley in the Wildcats’ 17-10 win last season, but the Gamecocks have been a different team since Bentley took over at quarterback. It’ll be up to blitz brothers Denzil Ware and Josh Allen to pressure the South Carolina passing game.