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South Carolina defeats Kentucky for first SEC win of 2019

The Gamecocks had a pair of 100-yard rushers in the victory

NCAA Football: Kentucky at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The South Carolina Gamecocks (2-3, 1-2) are in the win column in conference play after Saturday night’s 24-7 takedown of the Kentucky Wildcats (2-3, 0-3) at Williams-Brice Stadium.

The Gamecocks put forth their best defensive performance of the season in the victory, holding Kentucky to just one late touchdown and 212 total yards. Defensive end DJ Wonnum was particularly impactful on the defensive side for the Wildcats, recording three sacks, including one that led to a fumble which was recovered by the Gamecocks.

Offensively, Ryan Hilinski struggled a bit for South Carolina, completing 15 of his 27 passes for 140 yards, but the big story was the rushing attack. For the first time since 2001, South Carolina had a pair of 100+ yard rushers in an SEC game, as Tavien Feaster finished with 107 yards and Rico Dowdle finished with 102. The pair combined for all three South Carolina touchdowns, as well.

Dowdle left the game with an injury, but it doesn’t appear to be serious.

The Wildcats were already going to struggle on offense this year with the departure of Benny Snell, but adding Terry Wilson’s injury to the mix has made things even worse for Kentucky. Sawyer Smith went just 11-32 on the evening with 90 yards and an interception, and while Kentucky’s rushing game was servicable, there’s only so much you can do when you have such poor quarterback play.

Kentucky will have a bye week, then face another winless SEC team as they host Arkansas on October 12.

South Carolina will also have a bye week, then they will head to Athens to face Georgia on October 12.