South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Kentucky Wildcats
The South Carolina Gamecocks look to bounce back from their first loss of the year as they host the Kentucky Wildcats in SEC college football action Saturday. The Gamecocks are -18.5 favorites over the Wildcats with an over/under point total set at 62.
The South Carolina Gamecocks looked to be on track for a return to the SEC Title Game as they won their first four games but it all came crashing down on Steve Spurrier’s team as they fell to Auburn in week five. While South Carolina has some of the most talented players in the nation, they still lack discipline and have made some poor decisions and as the level of competition increases those mistakes end up costing them more. At QB Stephen Garcia simply hasn’t developed into the QB the Gamecocks had hoped as he has completed 51.7 percent of his passes for 844 yards with four touchdowns and nine interceptions. Marcus Lattimore is one of the top running backs in the nation and he has gained 677 yards and scored nine touchdowns on the ground and he has caught 12 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown. Alshon Jeffrey has been hobbled by the poor QB play and his numbers are disappointing with 19 catches for 332 yards and two scores. The South Carolina defense has eight interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, and 13 sacks. Antonio Allen leads the Gamecocks with 49 tackles followed by D.J. Swearinger with 28 and Melvin Ingram and Stephon Gilmore both with 26. In order to compete week after week in the SEC South Carolina is going to need to avoid the mistakes that seem to be a regular part of their games.
Joker Phillips and the Kentucky Wildcats have been bowl regulars but unless their level of play increases dramatically in a hurry the string may be ending this year. Kentucky took another big loss last weekend at LSU and while there isn’t a lot of shame in losing to the number one team in the country the Kentucky offense failed to do anything until the outcome of the game was well decided. Morgan Newton has been less than ordinary at QB completing just 50 percent of his passes for 647 yards with six touchdowns and six interceptions while rushing for 133 yards. Josh Clemons leads UK in rushing yards with 269 with two touchdowns while La’Rod King has been the offense with 21 catches for 347 yards and four touchdowns. Kentucky leans heavily on their defense that has seven interceptions, seven sacks, and two fumble recoveries. Danny Trevathan leads the Cats with 59 tackles followed by Winston Guy with 53 and Ronnie Sneed at 37. If the Kentucky offense can’t stay on the field the defense will put up huge tackle numbers which isn’t necessarily a good thing for the overall team record.
South Carolina is 11-5 against the spread when playing a team with a winning record, 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games overall, and 1-5 against the spread in their last six home games. Kentucky is 1-4 against the spread following a straight up loss, 1-5 against the spread in their last six road games, and 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games as a road underdog.
South Carolina is the better team and more talented with Jeffrey and Lattimore on offense and players like Ingram and Jedevon Clowney on defense but they are team that just can’t get out of their own way and has proved to be far better at stopping themselves than others are at stopping them. Kentucky should have tough sledding offensively but by creating turnovers they’ll keep it close enough to get the cover getting this huge number.
Kentucky Wildcats +18.5 South Carolina Gamecocks