The Daily Gamecock

Run defense, penalties cost Gamecocks in loss to Kentucky

South Carolina moved to 2-2 on the season after not being able to hang on to the lead, losing 17-10 to Kentucky.

The first half was no barn burner. At half, South Carolina lead Kentucky 7-3 after piecing together a 10 play, 80 yard drive capped off by a 12-yard A.J. Turner run off the edge. The Gamecocks had the advantage in total offense, 164 to 138, but started off slow. In the first quarter, South Carolina had only 24 yards when they had the ball compared to Kentucky’s 94 yards.

One problem for the Gamecocks were penalties. While they only had three in the first half, two of them were big.

The first one came midway through the first quarter when Terry Googer ran into Kentucky punter Grant McKinniss on a fourth and one. That gave Kentucky a first down and put the Gamecock defense back on the field after a third down stop.

The second penalty happened when Kentucky was trying to drive and beat out the first half clock for a score. Jamarcus King jumped on a curl route and picked off Johnson, bringing South Carolina under 10 yards from the endzone. However, a holding call on Antoine Wilder gave Kentucky the ball back plus 10 yard. While the Wildcats didn’t score, the Gamecocks had potential to put more points on the board headed to the locker room if the call stood.

Kentucky decided their offense needed to head in a different direction in the second half, so they began to pound the ball down on the ground South Carolina’s throat.

To pull ahead, Stanley “Boom” Williams broke through the Gamecocks’ front seven, made a man miss and took it for a 43-yard touchdown.

On Kentucky’s go-ahead touchdown, they ran the ball 11 times with most of the load on Snell’s back. He ran the ball 50 yards on that drive, including a one-yard gain to find the endzone to make the game 17-10. Only one play didn’t get positive yards on that drive.

Kentucky ended the game with 216 yards on the ground, with 157 coming in the second half.

The Gamecock’s offense couldn’t muster up any momentum in the second half and were shut out. Brandon McIlwain threw for 177 yards with 84 of them going to Hayden Hurst. The ground game couldn't do much better. A.J. Turner lead the way with 42 yards.

South Carolina comes back home next weekend to face Texas A&M at 4 p.m.