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Looking Ahead to South Carolina

(Sure, Jadeveon Clowney is a Sophomore and has tons of college highlights by now, but this is one of the most terrifying/laughable/amazing highlight videos I’ve ever seen.) 

After last weekend’s effort against Will Muschamp’s Florida Gators, Joker’s Wildcats are looking to bounce back with a key home game against South Carolina.  Unfortunately for Kentucky, now 1-3 on the season, Steve Spurrier’s undefeated Gamecocks are an elite level football team that is widely considered to be a darkhorse national title contender.  Even more unfortunate for our Wildcats is that the Ol’ Ball Coach also brings a fetish for running up the score into Commonwealth (among other things, but I don’t judge).  South Carolina, who enters this weekend’s match-up ranked #6 in both Coaches and AP Polls, brings several elite units which are certain to create nightmares for Maxwell Smith and company come game time on Saturday.

 

For any shade of competitiveness to show come Saturday, Kentucky’s offense must figure out a way to neutralize South Carolina’s hyper-talented Defensive Line, which includes stars like Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor.  It will be challenging though, as South Carolina will be the best defense Kentucky has faced thus far, and likely will be the best they face all season.  The Carolina front is certainly daunting, as they’ve forced 15 sacks on the season (5th nationally), allow an average of 15.3 opponent first downs per game (T-14th nationally), and only allow their opposition to rush for an average of 2.0 yards per carry (6th nationally).  While their rushing defense and ability to pressure the quarterback are astounding there are some weaknesses to be found, mainly passing efficiency once the ball is beyond the Defensive Line.  On the season Carolina has allowed 7.0 yards per passing attempt (T-68th nationally) and let their opponents complete 60.9% of their passes (77th nationally).  If Maxwell Smith (assuming he’s healthy) and his receivers can find a way to quickly move the ball around the field, so Clowney and company can’t apply pressure, a chance for effective offense exists.  Easier said than done, though.

 

In past years, the Gamecock offense has been overshadowed by Steven Garcia’s drinking inconsistent Quarterback play, but that issue appears to have gone the way of the Dodo bird.  Last Saturday Carolina Quarterback, Conner Shaw, had quite the day throwing for 249 yards on 20/21 passing (11.9 YPA). To top it off he had two touchdowns paired with no interceptions.  It was no fluke either, on the season South Carolina is averaging 9.9 years per attempt (T-6th nationally) and is completing 62.9% of their passes (51st).  It’s not just passing that strikes fear into opponents, Carolina’s backfield holds one of the nation’s elite running backs, Marcus Lattimore.  So far this season he’s averaging 4.6 yards per carry and already has 6 touchdowns to his credit.  Compare this to a Kentucky defense that has issues stopping just about everyone and we have a recipe for a colossal mismatch.  All things considered, it’s certainly hard to envision any circumstance where Kentucky could come out on top in this match-up.

 

South Carolina enters this Saturday’s match-up in Commonwealth Stadium as 21-point favorites, tied for their largest predicted margin of victory since 2001 (coincidentally also against Kentucky).  It doesn’t take an expert or an orgy of numbers to realize that Saturday’s contest will be a mismatch, of course that tends to happen when a title contender faces a struggling team.  Will we see our Wildcats ready to play come Saturday night or will we see another Florida-esque beatdown?  Hard to predict for sure, but if our past against Spurrier is any indication it’ll probably be the latter of the two.

Article written by Jonathan Schuette

16 Comments for Looking Ahead to South Carolina



  1. capt
    8:07 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    He’d be doing us all a favor if he runs the score up. I would if I were him. Use us as a little extra motivation and get your team fired up. Why not?



  2. Catfan
    8:12 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    The only game I can look ahead to with any confidence is samford. We would be the 3rd best team in the sunbelt conference.



  3. Blue Jesus
    8:13 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    I remember an article written on this site during Brooks’ tenure about how the hiring of Brooks instead of going for Spurrier was perceived as a big let down, but, at the time the article was written, their tenures were basically equivalent. Welp, how about now?



  4. Blue Jesus
    8:18 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    Wow, those highlights are ridiculous.



  5. MHFaulkner
    8:34 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    Looks like Shaq against a midget league.

    What a freak athlete.

    What is scarier? In the SEC, he doesn’t look overly huge.



  6. What
    9:07 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    Oh My God. That dude is KILLING everyone in that video. I have never seen a player play all three options on the triple option and make the tackle like that dude.



  7. Duke Sucks
    9:50 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    Yea #3 it probably was about like now. Sure we were unrealistic to have thought Brooks should have been on par with the OBC. Count me in on the Fire brooks membership at that time. Now to be fair you should have pointed out how Brooks was bringing us off probation and scholareship reductions had Brooks handcuffed before he even got started and how unfair we were being to expect Brooks to be anywhere near the OBC with that type of obstacles in his way.
    So if your trying to defend Joker by pointing out were Brooks was at about the same time Atleast tell the whole story and not leave out the parts you want. Why didn’t you tell how Joker inherited a program riding the most successful streak in its history. Tell how Joker was named coach in waiting for 2years before his take over. Tell how Joker had been the recruiting Cord. And he had is hand in bringing every kid on the team to UK. The same kids who Joker says aren’t good enough so our team is too young to compete.



  8. Billy G
    10:29 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    We will easily beat South Carolina! Oh wait we talking football? Never mind I’ll come back in November.



  9. Matt Hobbie
    10:33 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    RISE!!!!!!!



  10. DAMN!
    10:44 pm September 25, 2012 Permalink

    If Smith’s shoulder wasn’t sore already then it soon will be. I wouldn’t look forward to playing QB for us this week!



  11. Hi
    12:42 am September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Jonathan Schuette is the Nickelback of blogging — he thinks he is cool but everyone knows he sucks.



  12. Catlogic15
    2:26 am September 26, 2012 Permalink

    Cats quit early in this game. It will be very ugly.



  13. W. Spears
    9:15 am September 26, 2012 Permalink

    I live for the day that KY can finally hang 50 on Spurrier, where ever he may be at the time. That being said, did anyone notice how the officials let the Florida defensive backs hang on our receivers? Is it just me or do the other teams get the benefit of the doubt when it comes to coverage. Maybe the officials thought the passes were un-catchable. Well they really were. Our defensive backs don’t come within 5 yards of the receiver so we never put the officials in a position to make a call.



  14. Bluehills
    9:41 am September 26, 2012 Permalink

    This video always reminded me of the football scene in Fast Times…where Jefferson makes Lincoln pay. The only thing missing is the Billy Squire song being played and one of the players actually flopping around on the ground.



  15. TrinityPills
    10:31 am September 26, 2012 Permalink

    The play at 3:39 on the option where he hits the quarterback and then chases down the ball carrier to tackle him too is one of the most amazing things I have ever seen a high school football player do.



  16. paducahfan
    10:36 am September 26, 2012 Permalink

    He looks like Art Still.