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Three games highlighted the SCRC schedule this weekend but the marquee game was between Kentucky and South Carolina. The Wildcats put the rest of the conference on notice with a 32-15 victory over the Gamecocks. It was the first loss that South Carolina has been dealt by a team other than Tennessee in several years.
The teams traded penalties to open the game but Kentucky scored two unconverted tries and another penalty to take a 20-3 lead going into the break. Despite having limited possession, the Wildcats made most of their opportunities and game plan.
“We know South Carolina’s game plan, they try to get it wide to the backs, do a lot of offloads. Our game plan was to try to press up real hard on defense the best we could and get them to make some sloppy passes,” said UK coach Gary Anderson.
South Carolina fought back in the second half with two tries to cut the lead to 20-15 but Kentucky weathered the storm. The Wildcats added two late tries to seal the 32-15 victory. It was a strong defensive effort from the Wildcats, who spent most of the game without the ball.
“We didn’t play much offense. I don’t think we had 10 go forward phases but I think we scored on four of them and had some penalty kicks. We didn’t get a lot of offense, South Carolina kept us on defense,” said Anderson. “When we did get the ball in space we were able to move it and put some scores in.”
It was a huge win for the program and puts Kentucky in prime position for a playoff spot. The Wildcats will take on Tennessee in several weeks, in a game that in all likelihood will decide the eastern division. It was the first time Kentucky has beaten South Carolina in at least six years.
“We are pretty happy with it. We have been working towards this for six years and we got all the pieces in place to pull it off. We are pretty excited about it,” Anderson said of the win.
The other two games on the docket saw Alabama move to 3-1 with a win over Ole Miss and Florida claim a 28-0 forfeit win over Auburn.