#GamecockFB: Spurs Down

South Carolina loses its fourth in a row to Kentucky …

The University of South Carolina football team had everything going for it on Saturday night … a pair of impressive road wins under its belt, a raucous home crowd at its back and a favorable matchup against an ostensibly inferior conference opponent.

Things started off according to script, too.  South Carolina’s offense scored a touchdown on the first play of the game and its defense forced a turnover on its second play from scrimmage.

Everything went downhill from there, though, as the Kentucky Wildcats reeled off their fourth consecutive victory over South Carolina with a 23-13 win in front of a sellout crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.

Well, it was a sellout crowd until late in the third quarter – when thousands of Gamecock fans dressed in black for this “blackout” game headed for the exits, frustrated with a new “gameday experience” that produced a familiar result.

A loss … to a basketball school.

Adding injury to insult, South Carolina’s top offensive playmaker – junior wide receiver Deebo Samuel – was lost for the season with a broken leg.  Not long thereafter the team’s top offensive lineman – converted right tackle Zack Bailey – left the field on crutches with a reported ankle injury.

South Carolina’s dream season?  All of a sudden it’s looking like a nightmare …

(Click to view)

(Via Travis Bell Photography)

The Gamecocks (2-1, 1-1 SEC) certainly had every opportunity to pull off a victory that could have landed them back in the national rankings for the first time in three years.  Not to mention given them a huge early-season advantage in the battle for the SEC Eastern division championship.

But once again, they simply couldn’t stop Kentucky’s running game – or keep the Wildcats (3-0, 1-0 SEC) from converting on third down.

The dagger?  A 54-yard run by Wildcat quarterback Stephen Johnson on a third-and-eight from the Kentucky 36-yard-line – a critical conversion that came just five plays after the Gamecocks had pulled within seven points late in the fourth quarter.

In addition to failing to stop Kentucky, second-year head coach Will Muschamp’s undisciplined squad couldn’t stop hurting itself.

Among the mistakes: Three missed field goals, two interceptions from star quarterback Jake Bentley, a pair of failed fourth down conversions (including one from the Kentucky two-yard line in the fourth quarter) and seven penalties for a total of 45 lost yards.

South Carolina also converted on only three of twelve third down plays.

Here’s the complete game book …

[tnc-pdf-viewer-iframe file=”https://www.fitsnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/sc3_gamestats_091617.pdf” width=”533″ height=”800″ download=”true” print=”true” fullscreen=”true” share=”true” zoom=”true” open=”true” pagenav=”true” logo=”false” find=”true” language=”en-US” page=”” default_zoom=”auto” pagemode=””]

(Via: University of South Carolina)

Up next for South Carolina?  Louisiana Tech – which edged Western Kentucky on Saturday in its conference opener.   The Bulldogs (2-1, 1-0 C-USA) will come to Columbia on Saturday as a heavy underdog.  Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. EDT with the SEC Network providing national coverage.



Got something you’d like to say in response to one of our stories? Please feel free to submit your own guest column or letter to the editor via-email HERE. Got a tip for us? CLICK HERE. Got a technical question? CLICK HERE. Want to support what we’re doing? SUBSCRIBE HERE.

Banner via Travis Bell Photography

Related posts


Brutal 2024 Slate Could Block Beamerball Bounceback

Will Folks

College World Series: Tennessee Finally Gets A Ring

Erin Parrott

College World Series: SEC On Top

Erin Parrott

Leave a Comment