Kentucky vs South Carolina preview
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
After a thumping loss to #2 Georgia on the road, Shane Beamer and the 2-1 (0-1) Gamecocks are headed back home to William Brice Stadium, for a 7pm kickoff against the 3-0 (1-0) Kentucky Wildcats. Last week Kentucky squeezed by group of 5 matchup against UT Chattanooga with a 28-23 victory.
On the Kentucky side, Head coach Mark Stoops will certainly be looking for Penn State transfer Will Levis to clean up the turnovers (2 int vs Chattanooga and 4 overall through 3 games) against a stout Gamecock defense that is top 5 in the country with 7 forced turnovers through 3 games and only allowing 287 total ypg.
Along with Levis, Leading rusher Chris Rodriguez will have his work cut out for him as South Carolina is only allowing roughly 110 rush ypg.
Defensively, Kentucky boasts a defense that also is only allowing 270 total ypg which will certainly make South Carolina’s offensive possessions even harder as the night goes on.
On the South Carolina Side, Head coach Shame Beamer announced that Luke Doty will be the starting QB heading into the game after coming back from a minor injury that kept him from starting the first 2 games. Doty did get some playing time in the Georgia game after Back up Zeb Nolan left the game with an injury.
South Carolina fans should be excited to have Luke Doty back. Zeb Nolan who struggled to finish drives in the first two games against two group of 5 teams, let alone finish a drive against powerhouse Georgia in their last game.
A big factor on the Gamecock side will be the running game and whether one of the four running backs will step up and take the lead role with productive running to help out Doty and the passing game.
The Over/Under has been set at 49.5 and I expect this game to hover around that line as an overall low scoring affair. Will Levis will have a tough time throwing the ball against the back half of South Carolina and will rely heavily on Chris Rodriguez getting something going on the ground to keep this gamecock defense honest. Luke Doty will have no time to jump into mid season form against a tough SEC opponent so look for South Carolina put an emphasis on the run game early to help their QB out while he’s getting comfortable at game speed. I don’t see this game being a blowout, so give me the points with South Carolina at home as this team is believing in the Shane Beamer way and their starting QB returns to the helm with a rocking stadium to keep things loud and interesting.