The Cats received the ball to start the game and got off to a great start, as Liam Coen relied heavily on the run game marching down the field in 12 plays capped off by a 15-yard touchdown run from Kavosiey Smoke to make it 7-0.
Much like the game against Chattanooga, Kentucky’s offense had an excellent opening drive and then struggled the rest of the half.
Kentucky’s next four possessions resulted in three punts and an interception on a poor throw from Will Levis trying to hit Wan’Dale Robinson who was behind the defense.
However, despite the poor offense, the Cats’ defense came ready to play, as they shut down the Gamecocks’ offense throughout the first half while holding them to just 80 total yards.
The offense would get the ball back with just under five minutes to go in the half. This time, they were able to move the ball down the field and set up Matt Ruffolo for a 43-yard field goal as time expired to send them into the locker room with a 10-0 lead.
The second half did not get off to a good start for the Cats, as South Carolina drove right down the field a punched it in to cut the lead to 10-7.
Kentucky put together a solid drive of their own but stalled on the goal line, forcing them to settle for a field goal extending their lead to 13-7.
Another turnover by the offense set up the Gamecocks with excellent field position, but again the defense stepped up and forced a turnover on downs, maintaining the 13-7 lead.
Unfortunately, for the second-straight possession Josh Ali put the ball on the ground, giving the Gamecocks good position once again.
But once again, it was the defense forcing another turnover on downs to give the ball back to the Cats.
This time, the offense ran it down USC’s throat and were able to get into field-goal range. Ruffolo converted again, making it a 16-7 lead.
South Carolina was able to get another field goal, but the offense was able to chew the final minutes to come away with a 16-10 win.
For the second week in a row, the defense is without a doubt the MVP of this ballgame after their performance.
Kentucky’s offense fell flat once again and still have a serious case of the turnover bug. However, the defense came to South Carolina looking to make a statement and that is exactly what they did
The offensive turnovers gave South Carolina excellent field position of multiple occasions, but the defense stepped up time and time again holding them to no points off three turnovers.
Kentucky was able to push the lead to 16-7, but after a huge gain by USC, the defense once again needed to step up.
They ultimately held the Gamecocks to a 54-yard field goal, which was huge for the Cats to close out the 16-10 win.
The defense was able to hold South Carolina to just 3/12 on 3rd down conversions and 0/3 on 4th down attempts.
An absolute outstanding and dominating performance for Brad White’s defense.