Taylor Wyndham's face said it all.
So did the faces of Randall Cobb and Corey Peters and Derrick Locke. The Kentucky players can't find a way to beat South Carolina - and they all know it.
With Saturday's 28-26 victory, the Gamecocks beat the Wildcats for the 10th consecutive time this decade.
"It's kind of frustrating," said Wyndham, the redshirt defensive end from Swansea. "We've got to learn to finish sometime. We've got good athletes and we're a good team, but we've got to not let things snowball on us when they don't go right."
In addition to battling the Gamecocks, Kentucky battled key injuries, including one to starting quarterback Mike Hartline, a few big penalties and a pair of dropped passes that could have resulted in touchdowns.
"Give South Carolina credit. They played good, and they're a good football team. They've won a lot of games," said Peters, the senior defensive tackle. "But I think we're just as good as them. The game of football is a lot of luck. The ball isn't going to bounce your way sometimes."
Wyndham made a play that could have turned the game in the third quarter when he stripped Garcia of the football at USC's 23, and safety Calvin Harrison, a former Richland Northeast standout, picked it up and returned it to the 15.
"I saw he was holding the ball in a bread basket, and I reached in there to snatch it," Wyndham said. "We were pretty excited. We tried to capitalize, but all we got was a field goal."
A dropped pass in the end zone meant Kentucky still trailed 21-20. The Wildcats finally did get a touchdown when they went to their Wildcat offense with Cobb moving from wide receiver to take direct snaps. He led a quick 70-yard drive to cut the lead to 28-26, but Kentucky could not convert the 2-point conversion. The Wildcats used Will Fidler back at quarterback, because Kentucky coach Rich Brooks said Cobb was too tired to stay in the Wildcat for that play.
"It's really rough," said Cobb, who compiled 229 all-purpose yards. "To play like we did today and not capitalize on our opportunities is disappointing."
Brooks, who has coached the past seven of the 10 straight losses to USC, was as frustrated as his players.
"This is very difficult," Brooks said. "It's a game we felt that we had a shot at winning, and we came up short."
USC took over with a two-point lead with 4:34 left to play and ran out the clock.
"We were a field goal away from winning the game, so I am extremely disappointed we couldn't get a stop," Peters said.
With the loss, the Wildcats dropped to 2-3 overall, 0-3 in the SEC. With Hartline expected to be out again next week, they must try to regroup on the road against Auburn.
Locke, a junior tailback who rushed for 89 yards and one touchdown, can't believe his team can not figure out how to beat the Gamecocks.
"We're playing like we're supposed to play, but it's the little things that are killing us," Locke said of the penalties and dropped passes. "Things like that you can't do when you're playing a good team. Everybody's tired of losing, and we've got to find a way to get it done."