The South Carolina Gamecocks traveled to Lexington on Saturday on a crisp night to take on a Kentucky Wildcats team that's shown improvement in the second year under Mark Stoops. South Carolina received the opening kick-off, and proceeded to methodically march the ball down the field in 19 plays for a touchdown. The game became competitive from there on, until a deflected pass resulted in a game-winning defensive touchdown.
South Carolina lost this game, but make no mistake: they largely dominated it offensively. In the first half alone, Mike Davis rushed 15 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. The Kentucky defense had only allowed 548 yards rushing all season prior to that. By the beginning of the fourth quarter, those figures had increased to 170 yards rushing with 7.7 yards per carry for Davis, and seven minutes still remained. South Carolina seemed to be in the driver's seat, with UK needing a defensive stop to cause a ruckus.
Kentucky's offense continued to battle behind a steady diet of Wildcat package that seemed to average 6 yards per carry. UK's defense, while not playing great, hung around enough to cause a few key turnovers. UK was down 14-0 in the first quarter, and with roughly eight minutes left in the game, it scored 21 unanswered points -- with Dylan Thompson's third interception putting UK ahead as they returned it for a touchdown. The "never say die" attitude paid off in the end, but it wasn't pretty.
Both teams looked sloppy at times with dumb penalties and turnovers, and yet both teams continued to battle and displayed the talent required for additional SEC wins later this season. It was a game without much defense, and the Head Ball Coach ended up losing. Go figure.
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