Kentucky jumped out to an early lead over South Carolina after Craig McIntosh connected on a field goal from the 8-yard line for the first points of the game. The kick was set up by a fumble on the opening kickoff, forced by Avery Williamson and recovered by Bud Dupree. Kentucky fans erupted with excitement and unexpected optimism after the forced turnover, only to watch the Cats run the ball five consecutive times without taking a shot at the end zone. Still, the Cats led 3-0 on the road against the No. 18 team in the country.
The next 57 minutes of football were different story. Kentucky played Tina to South Carolina’s Ike Turner, Rihanna to the Gamecocks’ Chris Brown. The Cats were whipped up and down the field, on both sides of the ball, starting with South Carolina’s seven-play, 80-yard drive to take the lead on its next possession. From there, Kentucky’s next four possessions went like this: Three-and-out; Clemons intercepted on a halfback pass; Newton intercepted; and another three-and-out. South Carolina took a 20-3 lead into the half and would go on to win, 54-3. Afterwards, Steve Spurrier said his team could’ve scored 60 or 70, but 50 points were enough.
Kentucky finished the game with 96 yards of total offense and six turnovers, while giving up 351 passing yards and 288 yards on the ground. Kentucky’s offense completed 4-of-26 passes for an abysmal 17 yards with four interceptions. It was one of the ugliest games for UK football in a long, long time.
This Saturday has to be better, right? I mean, it can’t be any worse. Right?