The South Carolina football team defeated Vanderbilt last week 47-6 and will look to continue that trend this week as it plays Kentucky.
South Carolina is currently 4-6 and needs to win both games left on its schedule to reach bowl eligibility. Head coach Shane Beamer said during his weekly press conference Tuesday that Kentucky will give them a challenge during Saturday's game, especially with the team's ability to run the football.
“They are really, really talented, obviously, with — offensively, it starts with the run game and the way they're able to run the football," Beamer said. "(They have a) big offensive line, accurate quarterback that can make all the throws, and then a really talented group of receivers and tight ends that we’ve seen the last couple years.”
Through ten games, the Wildcats have 1363 rushing yards, and senior running back Ray Davis is responsible for 929 yards of those ground yards as well as 11 touchdowns on the year. The Gamecocks have 914 yards as a team in 2023.
Kentucky defeated South Carolina 16-10 when the teams last met in Columbia in 2021, but the Gamecocks claimed a 24-14 road victory in the matchup last year. Beamer said the divisional game with Wildcats is always dominated by physicality.
“I just know in my two years here — two years ago, was what? (It) was 16-10 and was a slugfest for four quarters. And last year was 24-14, and we had a huge turnover on the first play of the game and a blocked punt," Beamer said. "So I think our players understand when you play Kentucky, that's who they are, and it's gonna be a physical four quarter war."
South Carolina and Kentucky have played 34 times, and the Gamecocks lead the series 19-14-1. The past 10 years, the Wildcats have dominated the series, winning seven out of the 10 meetings.
Beamer said that he expects the night crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium to be "absolutely insane" during the contest, which is the third in a four-game home stand but follows two consecutive 12 p.m. games.
"I know how much we enjoy night games around here, so I'm confident that Gamecock Nation will show that on Saturday night," Beamer said. "Thanks to the fans again for the awesome atmosphere they created for the two noon kickoffs."
This year, South Carolina is 4-1 at home, with the only loss coming to Florida, but winless on the road, losing all five away or neutral games by double digits.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and it will be the Gamecocks' first home game at night since playing the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Sept. 23. Fans at home can watch the game on the SEC Network.