After a scare at Kroger Field last weekend in a 28-23 victory over Chattanooga, the Kentucky Wildcats take their 3-0 record on the road for the first time this season when they face the South Carolina Gamecocks under the lights of Williams-Brice Stadium.
Kentucky has won six of their last seven games against the division rival Gamecocks dating back to 2014, with the only loss being a 24-7 defeat during their last trip to Columbia in 2019.
Last season, Kentucky steamrolled the Gamecocks 41-18 at Kroger Field in the regular-season finale. However, at that point, South Carolina had many of their starters on both sides of the ball opt out after head coach Will Muschamp was fired mid-season.
Now, a new-look Gamecocks team hopes to turn the tide of the division rivalry, as new head coach Shane Beamer has South Carolina looking like an improved football team.
The Gamecocks enter this week 2-1 after beating Eastern Illinois and Eastern Carolina but falling to No. 2 Georgia 40-13 last Saturday.
With starting quarterback Luke Doty injured, graduate assistant Zeb Noland was forced into playing duties using his final year of NCAA eligibility to lead the Gamecocks to victories the first two weeks of the season.
Last week, however, Noland suffered a hand injury after being stepped on, which led to a now healthy Doty taking over, who has since been named the starter for this week. Last year, he threw for 85 yards while completing 11/25 passes for a touchdown and interception at Kroger Field.
Kentucky will look to improve 2-0 in conference play, as outside of their non-conference wins over ULM and Chattanooga, the Cats own a conference win over SEC East rival Missouri that came in the form of a 35-28 victory during Week 2.
Saturday’s contest marks the start of seven-straight SEC games before the Cats will end the year with non-conference battles with New Mexico State and Louisville.
Thus, it’ll be important for Kentucky not to look past the Gamecocks, who they are favored to beat by six points as a home clash with the No. 11 Florida Gators looms next week.
Will Kentucky do just that and beat the Gamecocks? Or will they suffer their first loss of the season Saturday night? Make your pick in the poll below and expand on your choice in the comments section.
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