COLUMBIA, Sc (WLEX)- — It was downright ugly offensively, as Kentucky failed to move the chains throughout and were embarrassed by South Carolina 24-7.
One of Coach Stoops’ points of pride is that his program has gone up every year since he’s been at the helm, the only program in the country to do that.
That is almost certainly not going to happen this season.
The Gamecocks needed a win themselves, sitting just 1-3 out of the gate and a daunting schedule remaining.
It was an awful start defensively for Kentucky. South Carolina marched down the field with no issues, going 75 yards on 11 plays. They also converted both third down opportunities. Tavien Feaster capped off the drive with a 5-yard rushing score.
The offense didn’t do anything to ease the anxiety on their first drive. Sawyer Smith launched a pass near midfield that was intercepted. His third opening possession turnover in as many weeks.
UK’s defense would rise to the occasion and stop the Gamecocks from adding any points after inheriting excellent field position. The Cats would then benefit off a muffed Carolina punt, but wasn’t able to move it.
The Cats had no luck moving it in the first half, picking up just 75 yards. Sawyer Smith finished the half 4-11 for 27 yards and Kentucky picked up two first downs in the first half. South Carolina tacked on a field goal for the 10-0 halftime lead.
In the second half Kentucky's offense didn't step it up. Smith finished with an ugly stat line of 11-32 for 90 yards with an interception and fumble.
Kentucky scored their only points in garbage time on a Chris Rodriguez run. The drive was dominated by Bowden at the quarterback position after Smith left the game.