Owning the Wildcats
There are two SEC teams South Carolina has a winning record against: Kentucky and Mississippi State. Is it possible Kentucky is due a win? The Wildcats have not beaten the Gamecocks since 1999. That’s 10 consecutive losses, and their numbers are worse against Steve Spurrier, who is 17-0 against Kentucky.
Cobb is the closest thing South Carolina will see the rest of this season to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, and Newton ripped the Gamecocks. Cobb is less physical, but faster and quicker than Newton. Playing assignments, which has been a problem at times, will be paramount today. The next biggest factor will be tackling, which is something the Gamecocks have done well most of the season.
Garcia’s been golden
Stephen Garcia is coming off his best game as a Gamecock, and this is shaping up to be his breakout season. Garcia is second in the SEC and fifth in the nation in passing efficiency. If Garcia can keep this up, the Gamecocks will be contenders for the SEC title. However, there have been enough glimpses of the bad Garcia — back-to-back fumbles against Auburn and two interceptions against Furman — to show there is room for improvement.
The numbers are depressing. South Carolina has lost five consecutive road games and have not beaten an SEC team on the road since their last trip to Kentucky in 2008. Garcia has not won an SEC road game as a starting quarterback. Few players can offer explanation for why the team has struggled on the road. They can quit answering the questions by winning today.
Half a hundred?
Steve Spurrier has scored 50 or more points once at South Carolina, against Middle Tennessee in 2006. Could this be the day? Kentucky’s defense is 11th in the SEC and 91st in the country in scoring defense (30.2 ppg allowed). One team in the league gives up more yards per play than the Wildcats’ 5.4 (South Carolina gives up 5.5.).