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Players and coaches recap South Carolina, plus postgame notes

Rodriguez’s big day was not enough for Kentucky to overcome itself.

C-Rod. Chris Rodriguez Dylan Ballard - A Sea of Blue

Saturday night in Lexington, the Kentucky Wildcats fell to South Carolina, 24-14.

After the game, myself and other media members caught up with some of the players and coaches.

After hardly any generated offense, tons of penalties, and redshirt freshman quarterback in under center, we started by talking with offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello.

Rich Scangarello

Chris Rodriguez started off really hot outside of a fumble on the first play from scrimmage, which was a botched trick play. He ran for 97 yards rushing in the first half and finished with 137 yards on the ground.

Chris Rodriguez

With Will Levis out, Kaiya Sheron made his first collegiate start.

Kaiya Sheron

We also saw the return of star JJ Weaver. After the loss, Weaver kept referring to fact that there was no “juice” on the sidelines tonight.

JJ Weaver

Lastly, we talked with true freshman wide receiver, who said, “We have to keep our mind on the mission and go back to work.”

Barion Brown

Now, here’s a recap of what head coach Mark Stoops had to say via UK Athletics.

And here are the postgame notes via UK.

Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky is 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Southeastern Conference, while South Carolina is 4-2 and 1-2 in the league.
  • The Gamecocks lead the all-time series, 19-14-1.
  • The Wildcats and the Gamecocks are split, 2-2, over the last four meetings.
  • USC leads in games played in Lexington, 10-8.
  • Next, Kentucky will host Mississippi State on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network.

Team Notes

  • UK has allowed 24 or fewer points in 10 straight games, while the Cats have gone 8-2 during that span.
  • It is the longest streak since a 12-game stretch of 24 or fewer in the 1979-80 seasons.
  • UK has allowed 30 or fewer points in 52 of the last 58 games.
  • UK has allowed 98 points so far this season, fewest in the first six games since 2018 (83 in the first six games).
  • UK has allowed fewer than 400 yards in 10 consecutive games.
  • Kentucky had 11 players catch passes in the game against South Carolina, the most since October 24, 2015 when 11 Wildcats had receptions at Mississippi State.

Player Notes

  • Quarterback Kaiya Sheron had 15 completions, and just one interception, on 27 attempts for 178 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start.
  • The redshirt freshman recorded the first touchdown of his career on a 16-yard pass to tight end Jordan Dingle in the second quarter. He later connected with running back JuTahn McClain on a 10-yard touchdown throw.
  • Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed 22 times for 126 yards.
  • This was the 16th 100-yard rushing game of his career, the third-most in program history.
  • He now has 2,938 career rushing yards, helping him improve to fifth place on the school’s all-time list.
  • He is the first player in school history to have at least three 125-yard rushing games against the same opponent. In four games, he carried the ball 68 for 474 yards (7.0 per carry) and four touchdowns.
  • Tight end Jordan Dingle hauled in the second score of his career on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kaiya Sheron for Kentucky’s first points of the game.
  • Dingle has scored touchdowns in back-to-back games after he caught a 17-yard touchdown pass at Ole Miss.
  • Running back JuTahn McClain had a 10-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, his first score of the season.
  • It marked his only reception of the night.
  • He also rushed three times for 19 yards.
  • Wide receiver Chauncey Magwood led all wideouts with two receptions for 37 yards.
  • Wide receiver Dane Key had two receptions for 22 yards
  • Wide receiver Tayvion Robinson had one catch for 27 yards.
  • Linebacker DeAndre Square led Kentucky with nine total tackles on 1.5 TFL and tied linebacker Jordan Wright for the team lead with six solo tackles.
  • Square tied defensive back Tyrell Ajian in sacks with one apiece.
  • Linebacker Jordan Wright had seven tackles, including six solo tackles, for a team-best 2.0 TFL.
  • Linebacker Trevin Wallace had his first career interception at Kentucky’s 13-yard line to kill a five-play drive preventing South Carolina from scoring before halftime.
  • First-time starters: offensive tackle Deondre Buford and quarterback Kaiya Sheron.
  • Game captains: DeAndre Square, J.J. Weaver, Kenneth Horsey and Chris Rodriguez Jr.