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5 Keys to Victory vs. South Carolina

Here is the 5 things Kentucky needs to do to beat a very good South Carolina team.

Dubose, Tymere Jason Marcum - Sea of Blue

The Cats are finally ranked for the first time since 2007, and they are facing a tough test in the South Carolina Gamecocks tonight.

The Cats began the week as a 2-point underdog, but the spread has now shifted the Cats direction as they are favored to beat South Carolina by 1-point. If Kentucky is going to be able to beat the Gamecocks, here is the five things they need to do:

1. Win the line of scrimmage.

Last weekend, Kentucky was able to rush for over 220 yards on the one of the toughest defenses in the SEC. If they can do that again, I could see the Cats getting a W. Kentucky showed that they won’t be pushed around by any team.

The defensive line is anchored by Quinton Bohanna and Adrian Middleton who have continuously got a big push on the defensive line and have shut down opponent’s week after week.

Kentucky was able to hold the Bulldogs, one of the best rushing teams in the nation, to only 56 total yards rushing and 200 yards of total offense. South Carolina is another explosive team down the field, so Kentucky will have to put the Pressure on Jake Bentley and force him to make a couple bad throws.

2. Get Benny Snell The ball.

The junior running back is off to a fast start to his junior season. After four games, Snell has managed to rack up over 540 yards on 87 carries.

South Carolina is loaded up front with athletic defensive lineman like Javon Kinlaw and Keir Thomas. Thomas and Kinlaw are both very quick off the ball and very active when they get out of their stance.

Benny Snell has had to prove time after time that he’s for real and this week is going to be no easy task for the talented Heisman hopeful. Snell is very fast, very strong and one of the toughest backs in the SEC. I believe if Benny can get going he will make South Carolina pay and help the Cats get a big W.

3. Have one or less turnover.

Kentucky and Terry Wilson have looked really good this year, but turnovers are still an issue that many people worry about with Wilson, even though he has only had one key turnover.

The sophomore transfer quarterback has had a good year as he has completed over 67 percent of his passes and threw for 465 yards. Wilson has also been able to rush for over 240 yards on the season.

The one downfall to his game is the turnovers, as he has had four interceptions. Most people believe his turnovers are worth it because he adds so much to the UK offense, I for one think if Wilson can manage turnovers Saturday, he will be the MVP.

4. Win Field Position

Kentucky has one weapon for sure, and that’s a great punter and great cover team. If Kentucky is going to win this weekend, the Aussie weapon is going to have to be big.

Duffy is averaging just over 46 yards per punt and has 8 punts that landed inside the 20-yard line. The former Australian football player is crushing it this season and it helps that coverage team is only giving up an average of 4 yards per return.

Kentucky has done a great job of winning the field position battle, but if they are going to be a very good South Carolina team, they will have to do it again this weekend.

5. Play tough against the receivers

The Gamecocks and Jake Bentley have passed for over 780 yards thus far into the season and it seems like no one cans top their passing game. Receivers like Deebo Samuel, Bryan Edwards and Shi Smith have been crushing it.

Deebo Samuel is one of the most feared receivers in the game, but so far he has only been able to haul in 145 yards. The thing is about Deebo is he is very quick and big. He has caught 20 catches this season and most of those he was defended very well.

Bryan Edwards has caught 14 passes for 211 yards and three touchdowns, so most assume that is Bentley’s No. 1 guy going into Saturday’s game.

Shi Smith is the other star receiver for the Gamecocks and I think one of the most explosive. Smith has caught 11 passes for 191 yards which is an average of close to 18 yards per catch. If Kentucky is going to pull it off this weekend, you have to press the receivers and knock them off their routes to disrupt the timing.

My Prediction:

The Kentucky Wildcats are 4-0, and I don’t expect a different outcome than winning this weekend. Terry Wilson is finally going to have his big passing game and open up Kentucky’s offense. I think Terry throws for two touchdowns and 200 yards, while Benny Snell still captures the century mark with 100 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Kentucky puts pressure on Bentley and the receivers, I think UK runs away with it and gets their 5th consecutive win over the Gamecocks.

Score Prediction:

Kentucky 35 South Carolina 17