Those of you who have watched South Carolina’s defense play the last two weeks probably will be surprised by the following numbers.
Only three teams in the SEC give up more points per game than the Gamecocks, who have allowed 23.8 this season. Some of that can be explained by the tough positions the offense has put the defense in this season, but not all of it. South Carolina is sixth in the SEC in yards allowed. Vanderbilt, in fact, gives up fewer yards.
The point is: the South Carolina defense is on its way but still is not a finished product.
“I am very proud of the way we have played effort wise,” assistant head coach for defense Ellis Johnson said. “My biggest concern is we’ve had some mental mistakes and some technique errors at the point in the game where we could shut somebody off and we are not pulling that string. I don’t know what it is, but that’s the step I’d like to see us take this week is for us to finish something.”
Kentucky is as good a place to start as any. The Wildcats are last in the SEC in scoring (15 points per game) and yards gained (255.6 per game).
“Kentucky is very capable of moving the ball on anybody,” Johnson insisted. “When they do get stopped, they usually shoot themselves in the foot and make a mistake here and there, but they have good players. They are a very capable football team.”
Not capable enough to win this week.
South Carolina 24, Kentucky 21.