The South Carolina Gamecocks are one of the top teams in the SEC, but they sure haven’t been playing like it lately. They nearly lost to the Central Florida Knights in week five, sneaking out a 28-25 win, but they still have the potential to be one of the best teams in the nation.
On the other side of the field, the Kentucky Wildcats are coming off a two-win season in 2012, and don’t look much better in 2013. They are sitting at 1-4 with no end to the losing in sight — it’s too bad that they play in the SEC and play a ranked team nearly every week.
Connor Shaw got the Gamecocks off to a hot start to begin the season. In fact, he threw the first touchdown pass of the season on his first drive of the season. However, he has been forced out of the starting lineup for two to three weeks with a sprained shoulder and Dylan Thompson will be taking over the quarterback position. Shaw was having a solid season through four games with 665 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions. The team likely will struggle a bit with Thompson in the pass game as his completion percentage is 10 points less than Shaw’s. Mike Davis is one of the best running backs in the nation with 508 yards and six touchdowns for the 27th best rushing attack in the nation.
Kentucky doesn’t have the best offense in the nation, but a middle-of-the-pack team in terms of yardage per game is better than nothing. However, the Wildcats have had a tough time getting the ball into the endzone, ranking 97th in the nation in points per game with just over 21. Sophomore quarterback Jalen Whitlow looks like he’s losing some playing time with the emergence of Maxwell Smith at quarterback. Smith has 634 yards with four touchdowns and an interception in split playing time.
Defensively, Kentucky allows 375 yards per game while also allowing 23.3 points per game — both are ranked in the top-60 in the nation. South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney has been unhealthy and unproductive, under his standards, so far this season. The Gamecocks have allowed 381 yards and 25.3 points per game this season — a very underachieving unit.
Kentucky will travel to South Carolina to take on the Gamecocks at 7:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Oct. 5. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
PREDICTION: Kentucky 10, South Carolina 37