Kentucky and South Carolina will meet in Columbia this Saturday after both programs began their seasons with out of conference wins.
Kentucky’s home opener was a 40-33 victory over Louisiana Lafayette and the Gamecocks beat North Carolina 17-13. After shaking the rust off, the two teams will now open up conference play for their first SEC match up of the season. The Wildcats will look to end some unfortunate streaks this weekend – they haven’t won in Columbia since 1999 and the team has yet to earn a road win under head coach Mark Stoops.
Regardless of the past, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier knows that Kentucky is primed to make a splash in the SEC.
“I think Mark Stoops has done an excellent job building that program,” Spurrier says. “They’re very, very competitive with everybody they play.”
Spurrier has had plenty of time to think about Stoops’ coaching skills since these two teams met last October. In the 45-38 Kentucky victory, the Wildcats intercepted South Carolina three times and mounted the largest fourth quarter comeback in program history.
“I know we can run the ball,” Stoops explained “I think we’ve got to be more consistent offensively.”
If the Wildcats can find their offensive rhythm, they will fare well against a South Carolina team that only scored two touchdowns in their season debut. In order to slow down the Gamecocks, Kentucky must find a way to stop the run. South Carolina tallied 254 yards on the ground against the Tar Heels, a highlight of their slow start to the season.
Kentucky on the ground could look to tailback Stanley “Boom” Williams, who rattled off a 75 yard touchdown run on the first offensive play of the season. Florida will travel to play Kentucky next week.