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Kentucky falls at South Carolina: 6 things to know and postgame banter

The defense fought hard to keep it close, but the offense didn’t show up.

Kentucky v South Carolina Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats were crushed by the South Carolina Gamecocks 24-7 Saturday night in Columbia.

The Cats are now 2-3 after the loss and outside of UT-Martin, I’m not sure who else I can confidently say they’ll beat.

Next weekend, the Cats have a bye, but the Arkansas Razorbacks will visit Lexington in two weeks.

Another slow start

Kentucky got off to another slow start. The Gamecocks drove the ball right down UK’s throat on the opening drive for seven points.

While it looked like UK’s defense couldn’t slow them down whatsoever, they did hold South Carolina to only three more points going into the half.

The problem? The Cats’ offense was nonexistent. We’ll get to that later, but the offensive line didn’t play well, and Sawyer Smith was miserable to watch.

Kentucky went into the break down 10-0 with 78 total yards.

Spoiler: it didn’t get any better.

The “Wildcat” was used a lot more, but in a different way

Yes, we all hate the dreaded “Wildcat” formation, but it actually worked better tonight.

I think it’s due to the fact that it wasn’t a true “Wildcat” formation. Lynn Bowden was simply playing quarterback. He threw the ball, handed it off, and ran it himself a few times.

His versatility allowed the Cats to somewhat keep the defense on their heels. For once, it wasn’t the problem. That title belonged to the regular offense.

Chris Oats needs to start taking more of Kash Daniel’s snaps

I love Kash Daniel. I know he’s been in the middle of some controversy recently, but I believe he’s the heart of this Kentucky football team.

So, why do I think Oats needs to play more? Daniel simply hasn’t been effective. He seems lost and a step slow on every play. Oats has some serious talent and potential.

There was one specific play — a 30-yard touchdown run by Rico Dowdle — that Daniel simply couldn’t get there fast enough to make the play, and I’m confident Oats would have. Kash is a leader, but the team might be better off giving Oats more of his snaps.

This looked like a Joker team

This game was so bad that I was having nightmare flashbacks of Joker Phillips’ teams at Kentucky. This one was bad. Really, really bad.

I try as hard as I can to remain positive after losses, but UK just looked like they gave up in the second quarter.

There was no fight. No tenacity. They were flat out embarrassed.

Boogie Watson was the lone bright spot

Boogie Watson was challenged by Mark Stoops this week and he rose to the occasion.

The Cats had no pass rush through the first few games and that was partly due to Watson’s disappointing play.

However, he stepped up this week, finishing with two sacks and another quarterback hurry. For all the negatives that came out of tonight, Boogie was the lone bright spot.

One of the worst offensive performances I’ve ever seen

Listen, Sawyer Smith was really bad, but I don’t put all the blame on him. He was terrible and couldn’t hit sand if he fell off a camel, but Eddie Gran continued to call pass play after pass play.

UK had no business throwing the ball as much as they did, especially considering Smith was playing a little banged up. But they just threw the ball time and time again.

It was atrocious to watch. We all thought it was frustrating to watch the Mississippi State game or Texas A&M game last season, but those don’t even compare to this.

Something’s got to give. It sucks knowing this season is going down the drain right in front of our eyes, but it looks the team has given up.

Hopefully, Kentucky takes the bye week to reevaluate what they’re doing and come out with a little fight in two weeks.

I miss Terry Wilson.