COLUMBIA, S.C. – They remember cold weather. They remember chrome helmets. But the Gamecocks can’t put a finger on the reasons for recent struggles against Kentucky.
South Carolina has lost two in a row to the Wildcats with two losses in its past three trips to Lexington in its struggles since 2010 against Kentucky.
“I think the older guys and seniors know how close we were to beating them two years in a row,” junior running back David Williams said. “We just want to go and shock their crowd. Last time we went out there, it was hype and riled up. They came out with a victory. We just want to go out there and make them upset.”
South Carolina can move to 3-1 with a win at Kentucky on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network). But it will take flipping the series back to what it was prior to 2010, when the tone of the series changed.
The Gamecocks dominated the series from 2000-09, winning every game through the decade. The Gamecocks were the No. 10 team in the country when they went to Lexington on Oct. 16, 2010. They left with a 31-28 loss, as Kentucky toppled South Carolina in a manner that would become the norm. Six of the past eight meetings between the two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less.
The current players weren’t around for that loss, but many of them experienced a 45-38 loss in 2014.
“I remember the last time I played at Kentucky, I was a freshman,” safety D.J. Smith said. “I think I got kicked out of the game (for targeting). They came back and won. This is going to be a big game for me.”
Defensive end Darius English remembers the weather. It was a chilly 52 degrees in Lexington that day. Forecasts for Saturday are in the high-80s.
Williams’ main memory was Kentucky fans being riled up before kickoff and new chrome helmets and black uniforms for the Wildcats.
“They were into the game before we got there,” Williams said. “We just gotta go out there and jump on top of them from the beginning so we can silence the crowd.”
Coach Will Muschamp hasn’t been one to talk about teams prior to his tenure at South Carolina. He took that route again Tuesday, shrugging off the recent history of the series with Kentucky.
“I think it’s what you make of it,” Muschamp said. “Go play well. Go coach well.”