Welcome to the open game thread for the Kentucky Wildcats at South Carolina Gamecocks. This is Kentucky's first road game of the season, and one of the toughest places in the SEC to go get a victory, even when the Gamecocks aren't ranked in the top 20 — which they are.
South Carolina's quarterback, Connor Shaw, was injured in the last game, but apparently not too badly. The thing is, Shaw is known to try to play through pain or difficulty, and it is not impossible he won't be 100%. Not sure if that matters.
There is also the matter of the Kentucky quarterback — we don't know who he will be this time. Stoops & Co. have supposedly given the majority of snaps to one guy this week, and the rumor is it is Jalen Whitlow, but we simply don't know at this point who it will be.
For Kentucky to win this game, a number of things must go right:
The Wildcats must find a way to execute on offense, something they haven't done against a quality foe all year;
Kentucky must avoid turnovers, and force a few from South Carolina;
Kentucky has had good special teams play all year. That must continue;
The Wildcats must contain Connor Shaw, and force him to make hard throws;
Kentucky must play better run defense than they did against Florida.
Honestly, I'm not sanguine about our chances to win this game, but we have a chance because we are going to take the field, and South Carolina has every reason in the world to be overconfident. Perhaps Kentucky can find a way to exploit that, if true.
Also, South Carolina has not been great on defense this year, and perhaps Kentucky can work with that. Who knows? All I know is that I, and the rest of us who do have hope and faith that this team is improving, are going to try to will them to an upset.
Late breaking news:
Mark Stoops says on pregame radio show that Jalen Whitlow will get the nod at quarterback— Herald-Leader Sports (@KentuckySports) October 5, 2013