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Kentucky defeats South Carolina 24-10 in dominant defensive performance

For the second week in a row, the Kentucky Wildcats managed to blow out an SEC foe with the entire football world paying attention, defeating the South Carolina Gamecocks by a final score of 24-10.

With the victory, Kentucky moves to 5-0 on the year and 3-0 in SEC play, pushing their current winning streak against South Carolina to five consecutive victories.

The Cats and Gamecocks traded field goals in the first quarter, but from there, it was all Kentucky in an impressive rushing performance and yet another ridiculous defensive display.

On offense, the Cats ran for a total of 195 yards, with three players rushing for over 35 yards. In total yardage, Kentucky squeaked by South Carolina by a final tally of 327-321 with the help of seven tackles for loss.

Kentucky star running back Benny Snell once again added to his Heisman campaign, finishing with 99 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries. He scored his 40th career touchdown, making him just one of 20 players in SEC history to accomplish the feat.

Terry Wilson also finished with a smooth 59 yards rushing and a touchdown on a beautiful fake handoff at the one-yard line. He added 132 yards on 13-20 passing to go with an interception thrown early in the fourth quarter.

Running back AJ Rose also managed a touchdown of his own, scoring from 24 yards out on a tightrope scamper on the right sideline. He finished with 38 yards on the day to push his season total to 193 yards.

After a dominant offensive performance in the first half, where they found themselves up 24-3 at the break, things slowed down significantly for Eddie Gran’s offense.

To open the second half, Kentucky milked six minutes off the clock and put the offense in position to put points on the board on a 43-yard field goal. Instead of potentially going up 27-3, senior kicker Miles Butler missed it wide left, leaving the door open for South Carolina to drive it down the field for a score of their own.

On third and long on the following drive, Jake Bentley lofted a deep ball to star receiver Deebo Samuel, leaving the ball in the air long enough for Lonnie Johnson to make a play. Johnson failed miserably on the gamble, jumping too early and leaving Samuel open for the easy touchdown to cut the score to 24-10 in favor of the Cats.

After momentum swung in South Carolina’s favor a bit, Kentucky temporarily killed it on the very next drive as safety Darius West picked the ball off and returned it to the USC 37. On the play, Kash Daniel was called for a targeting call, pushing the Cats back 15 yards and leaving the defense without their star middle linebacker. The bad fortune continued, as the offense stalled out once again, going three-and-out to put the ball back in USC’s hands.

After a monster punt by Max Duffy to pin South Carolina deep in their own territory, Josh Allen got back to his dominant pass-rushing ways, sacking Bentley just outside of their own endzone on first down. The Cats made another impressive stop on the run right around the line of scrimmage, followed by a pass breakup on the sideline on third down to force the punt.

Once again, the Cats failed to convert on the great field position, deciding to run the ball six consecutive times on offense. Three penalties were also called on Kentucky, pushing them back to the 50-yard line for a 3rd and 40. Wilson tossed a deep ball to the seven, which was picked off by a Gamecock defender, basically the equivalent to a long punt.

South Carolina followed it up with a long drive of their own, trekking 71 yards down the field with their eyes set on making it a one possession game. When the nerves kicked in for the BBN, the Wildcat defense stepped up once again, as Mike Edwards came up with a massive interception in the end zone to essentially seal the deal.

The Cats milked the clock down a bit more with three consecutive runs to run it down to just 2:06 remaining in the game, adding another deep punt by Duffy to pin the Cocks down at the 17.

South Carolina moved the ball down the field and into Kentucky territory, momentarily pushing their total yardage past the Cats. Once again, any hope of a comeback was crushed by Jamar “Boogie” Watson and Josh Allen, as each forced a sack on the final drive. One final prayer was thrown to Deebo Samuel, but forced incomplete by the Wildcat defense.

Kentucky took over on downs and went into victory formation to finalize the 24-10 victory and push their winning streak over South Carolina to five straight.

Other notes:

Darius West led the defense with nine tackles (five solo), one interception, and two pass breakups.

Allen finished the day with eight tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks, one quarterback hit, and one forced fumble.

Jordan Jones and Mike Edwards, and Boogie Watson each added tackles for loss, as well.

West, Edwards, and Derrick Baity also finished with an interception, three of four total turnovers forced by the defense.

5-0 on the year, 3-0 in conference play, and yet another jump in the rankings expected tomorrow.

I like my team.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

32 Comments for Kentucky defeats South Carolina 24-10 in dominant defensive performance

  1. We’re a football school.

  2. michaelb
    11:29 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Man, I can’t believe we didn’t even have to score in the second half to win. That’s how you know you got a defense you can hang your hat on , helluva luxury were not use to . I can’t believe that game was going on 4 hours long , 3 hrs & 40 mins I think .

    • foamfinger
      11:43 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      I wish we could have had some more offense in the second half, though. As the season goes on, it might start to get a little iffy with depth and conditioning as guys get worn down.

    • michaelb
      11:48 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      I love Terry’s game but our second qb can move the ball better in certain games . Terry had a nice first half but …. it’s just the truth . I’m not hating on Wilson or trying to get him pulled – it is what tis

    • 4everUKblue
      7:50 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

      Maybe it was not so much Terry as it was Eddie Gran’s conservative play calling. Hoak couldn’t have done any more with the plays Eddie was running, and all those yards that Terry got Gunnar wouldn’t have gotten. Let’s not try to fix something that’s not broke.

  3. Booby Petrino
    11:30 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    I’m just sad that Benny lost a few yards on his last carries to end up under 100 yards. But he only cares about the team, and the team won so I’m sure he’s happy! Go Cats!

  4. UKFootballYall
    11:30 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Well done defense! Heck of a game Note to Gran/Hinshaw, leave that 2nd half prevent offense at home when you head to College Station next week.

  5. pwells618
    11:33 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    No not quite.

  6. original slappy
    11:33 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Any of the injuries looking serious? A couple of guys seemed to get banged up late. Namely Baity on the interception… Looks like he roughed his foot up a bit

    • Miller45
      11:41 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      Cramping, I hope they aren’t flopping a cheap timeout

    • Cokely53
      11:43 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      After A&M will be a much needed week off. Boys need a breather. Definitely looked roughed up tonight. Though USC looked dirty with some cheap shots and trash talking

    • ClutchCargo
      11:57 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      A couple of those seemed like obvious flops to stop the clock (looking at you, Chris Westry. lol). But hopefully we’re close to 100% next week.

  7. KYcats11
    11:35 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Go Cats!

  8. cats646
    11:36 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Idk what happened with our line in the second half? But I like the fact that we proved we can win when we’re at our worst. Old Kentucky football loses that game. Mark stoops came in here on a mission “change the game”, and that’s exactly what he has done. This is what Kentucky football is now! 5-0. Bring on A and M!!! Go cats!!!!!!!

    • runningunnin.454
      11:43 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      A & M beat Arkansas by a touchdown; North Texas beat Arkansas 44-17. We can take A&M .

    • foamfinger
      11:44 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      We can, but Arkansas has been getting better this year. Their run defense is pretty good and I think they are starting to click on offense.

    • Patrick_David
      9:12 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

      Kyle Field will be sold out and loud! Going to be a very tough game…Jimbo will have them boys ready to knock off the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats…. I don’t know…

    • original slappy
      11:47 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      A & M at Kyle field will be a tough one to win. I don’t expect them to get it done down there. If this team is 6-0 after that game then the sky is the limit.

    • cats646
      11:48 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      6-0 after next week!!!!

    • runningunnin.454
      11:55 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      A&M was home today, and they beat a 1-3 team by 7; in fact, they’ve only played one road game, and they’re going down at home next week.

    • original slappy
      11:58 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      It wasn’t a true home game for A & M. Neutral site game in Texas. Not quite the same as playing at your notoriously loud home field

  9. shelby
    11:50 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Great defensive performance in the 2nd half: gran went waaaayyyyy to conservative on 1st half’s last possession and it carried over in 2nd half. They have to trust terry more; we have a good receiving corps and maybe the best tight end in the nation…get them the ball. I love this team.

    • cats646
      11:55 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

      I don’t think he went as conservative as you think. Our O-line not blocking anyone the whole second half had a lot to do with us not scoring.

    • Trueblue44
      11:13 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

      Personally think it was a little of both. Right side of the OLine was getting blown up in the 2nd half and he continued to run at that side. Agree with the statement of trusting Wilson more, if not then why not slide him to the slot for his speed and put Gunner or Clark to throw. Gran is notorious for this but he has a chance for a special season, he has to open up some

  10. gwhittle
    11:57 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    I still hate when Gran goes so conservative so early. But the difference this year is we have the defense to hold a lead when he does. Terry moved the ball just fine when the play book was open in the first half. Stop acting like he’s not a good qb folks

  11. michaelb
    11:58 pm September 29, 2018 Permalink

    Our coach is a lot better that I use to give him credit for . He’s improved just as much as any player has. His staff is pretty keen too. I can’t help to think that we could play for sec title

  12. jccuk
    12:11 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

    AJ Rose should have played in the second half, earned it in the 1st half and maybe could have broke a run in the second half with his speed. Too dependent on Benny.

    • Rowdy TX CAT
      12:26 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

      Yep. I thought Benny looked a little tired in the second half. I would have liked to have seen what Rose could have done with fresh legs.

    • michaelb
      12:41 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

      I agree with this Aj rose talk . He’s a change of pace back . That affects the defense more than you’d think

  13. smokindave
    12:24 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

    Would love to see the same offensive creativity when we get a lead. 2 1/2 minutes left in the half, and we go 4 corners? Would like to see Eddie-and Mark-keep the foot on the accelerator when they get a lead.

  14. ky1988
    1:31 am September 30, 2018 Permalink

    At least hearing Hoak should start over Willson is over this year. If cats go 6-o and 4-0 I feel sorry for Vanderbilt two weeks later.