Squandered opportunities turned South Carolina’s game against Kentucky into a dogfight, and ultimately a loss.
The Gamecocks opened the game with a 68-yard scoring pass to Deebo Samuel, and the second and third drives started inside Kentucky’s 40-yard line off Wildcats turnovers. Both started with false starts, neither gained a first down and ended without points.
All told, South Carolina got inside the Wildcats 40 five times in the first half, and came away with a single score.
The Gamecocks complicated matters by failing to convert third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 from midfield in the third quarter. As things got desperate in the fourth, they were stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line.
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Throw in a delay of game penalty to take a 49-yard field goal off the board and a 42-yard kick that was well short as the Gamecocks tried to cut it to one score.
It was reminiscent of the 2015 game at Williams-Brice Stadium when USC squandered scoring chance after scoring chance in a 26-22 loss.
▪ Will Muschamp said Parker White will be USC’s top place kicker going forward.
▪ Skai Moore picked off a pass on Kentucky’s second drive. It was his first interception since Oct. 17, 2015, when he picked off a pass against Vanderbilt. It gives him 12 career interceptions, tied for second on the school’s career list with Dick Harris. Bo Davies hold the overall record at 14.
▪ Moore also moved into the program’s top 10 all-time in solo tackles.
▪ Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley got on a roll in the middle of the game, completing 16 consecutive passes. The school record is 20 in a row by Connor Shaw in 2012 against Missouri.
▪ South Carolina made a switch at left tackle, putting junior college transfer Dennis Daley into the lineup for Malik Young. Daley had several false start penalties.
▪ The win was the ninth SEC victory in Mark Stoops’ career. Four have come against the Gamecocks.
▪ South Carolina’s new “2001” introduction went off, but with a hitch. Of the four towers that were supposed to shoot jets of flame as the Gamecocks took the field, only one worked.
▪ The Gamecocks wore all black to match the blackout theme. Total attendance was 82,493.
▪ USC’s captains were tight end Hayden Hurst, wide receiver Deebo Samuel, defensive lineman D.J. Wonnum, safety D.J. Smith.
▪ Hurst moved into fifth place on the school’s all-time list for tight ends in receptions and yards.
▪ Kentucky had touchdown drives of 11 and 13 plays. It’s the fourth time in three games USC gave up touchdown drives of double-digit plays.
▪ USC wide receiver Bryan Edwards was held without a catch for nearly 40 minutes from the start of the game.