South Carolina/Kentucky Breakdown and Prediction


(Image courtesy of The State)

          Can Kentucky win again? With three games straight being a victory for the cats, the question is, can we make it a fourth? This game means a lot to both teams, both are 2-0 and both need this victory. A lot of Kentucky fans have been disappointed with how Kentucky has started out this season. We were 0-2 at this point last year, 2-0 looks a lot better. Do not be so worried about us winning this game.

          South Carolina is 2-0, and the majority of the media believes South Carolina has improved tremendously from last year, but the stats say otherwise. While racking up 605 yards in their first two games they have also given up 927 yards. In perspective Kentucky has 690 yards and has given up 682.  They did play two power-five schools, but their defense is horrendous to say the least. The biggest thing for Kentucky this week is not making rookie mistakes. 
           

KENTUCKY OFFENSE 

          Offense is huge this week for Kentucky. South Carolina has obviously been struggling defensively and Kentucky needs to take full advantage of this. But, that means no turnovers or silly mistakes. Stephen Johnson has zero turnovers over the first two games and that stat needs to still be zero at the end of this game. The offensive line needs to get a better push and the center needs better snaps. These are problems that can be fixed easily, and I believe they will be for Saturday. Stephen Johnson and Benny Snell need to lead this offense, they have to take control, destroy, dismantle, and terrorize the Gamecock defense like they are capable of.

KENTUCKY DEFENSE

          South Carolina’s offense has looked sound. Jake Bentley has been impressive, but not as impressive as you think. Stephen Johnson and Jake Bentley have almost identical stats, Stephen Johnson actually has the edge with slightly better stats. The defensive line needs to get to the quarterback and take away the run like they have the first two games. Jake Bentley has been sacked twice in each of his first two games this year. The cats need to add another one or two if we want to win this game. Deebo Samuel at the moment looks unstoppable, 5 touchdowns overall, 2 kickoff returns, 2 receiving and 1 rushing. Stopping or even containing Deebo Samuel would hurt South Carolina immensely, because without Samuel, NC State would’ve likely been a loss and the Missouri game would’ve been a lot closer. Kentucky has a strong defense and is capable of containing the Gamecock’s offense.

SPECIAL TEAMS

          Not much really has to be said here. If we cover kickoffs like we did against EKU things could get ugly fast. We need to hit field goals and have great punts. Deebo Samuel needs to be stopped, no more kickoff returns for touchdowns on Saturday.

ENVIROMENT & REVENGE

          Neither team can control the crowd, but it will obviously be in South Carolina’s favor. This being their first home game, fans will be crazy and loud. It’s a blackout and it’s at night. We have veterans starting at just about every position, they can not let the fans control this game. Revenge is something that people should be aware of. The seniors of the opposing team have never beat Kentucky and that will only add more fuel to the fire.

PREDICTION

Kentucky 34     South Carolina 31

I expect a victory in a hard fought matchup, and I expect the mental and rookie mistakes to be lessened. GO CATS! Don’t forget to follow us @Ukfansallday on twitter!
          

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