This is the official Open Game Thread for South Carolina at Kentucky.
As I said in the post just below,this is a really big game for UK in many ways. Not only are long losing streaks on the line, but if the Wildcats are ever going to become a factor in the SEC East, they must find ways to hold serve at home. The last two years, UK has pulled major upsets at home, and although this game wouldn't really be an upset since the two teams are so even, Kentucky has historically found ways to lose games it should have won. No other team represents this unfortunate fact better than the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Both these teams are known for their defense, and there isn't a dime's worth of difference between them. The team that wins this game will be the one that finds ways to move the ball, makes the fewest mistakes, and takes advantage of the mistakes the other team give them.
Five things UK must do to win:
- Put pressure on Smelley -- Despite the fact that South Carolina is not known as a great offensive team, Steve Spurrier is one of the great passing coaches in all of football. South Carolina's athletes will beat our DB's if we give them a ton of time.
- Win the turnover battle -- One of the reasons UK has been so competitive is that it takes the ball away more than it gives it up.
- Attack on offense -- If we play a shrinking violet-type offensive game like we did against Louisville, South Carolina will leave a lot of unhappy fans at Commonwealth today.
- Defend the run -- After the Alabama game, USC should believe that they can run the ball against us, and they have the backs to do it. Stopping that will make it very difficult for USC to move the ball.
- Capitalize on field goal opportunities -- Field goals are going to figure mightily in this game because of the quality of defense. Ryan Tydlacka will have a major opportunity to affect the outcome of this one, I believe.
Five things UK can do to lose:
- Turnover the football -- UK has not shown enough offense to outscore anyone, and the few fumbles they have had this year have been devastating.
- Fail to establish a passing game -- South Carolina's defense will stack the box unless we force them not to.
- Poor special teams -- Special teams play almost won the Alabama game for UK. We dominated them in that area. We must do the same to the Gamecocks.
- Miss tackles -- UK missed more tackles against Alabama than anytime this year. It must improve against the Gamecocks.
- Worry about the streaks -- Forget about them. The 'Cats need to play football like they are the better team.
This is a big one, ladies and gentlemen. We need this. Down with the Visor!