South Carolina vs. Kentucky fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, September 29
Game Time: 7:30 ET
Venue: Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
Network: SEC Network
South Carolina (2-1) vs. Kentucky (4-0) Game Preview
One Reason Why South Carolina Will Win
It’s this simple – can you stop Kentucky’s running game?
UK is physical, but it’s the running of QB Terry Wilson and RB Benny Snell that’s carrying the attack, and now it’s up to the Gamecocks to load up to slow it all down.
They struggled against Georgia, but they also had to worry about Jake Fromm. They don’t have to worry so much about Wilson making huge things happen through the air.
But how do you slow this all down? You keep the Wildcats off the field.
USC is fourth in the nation and first among SEC teams on stopping teams on third downs, and UK is dead last in the conference in third down D.
Kentucky is fantastic at keeping the chains moving – converting at a 52% clip. The Gamecocks have to beat the Cats at their own game by running really, really well. But …
One Reason Why Kentucky Will Win
Kentucky isn’t just about the running game. It can play a little bit of defense, too.
The run defense has been phenomenal so far, not allowing more than 128 yards over the first three games, and then the veteran back seven pulled off a terrific performance against Mississippi State, allowing just 56 yards in the dominant win.
Yeah, Jake Bentley is throwing well, but South Carolina has to run to win, dominating Coastal Carolina and ripping through Vanderbilt. Get behind, and the ground game goes away – like it did against Georgia – and UK has to turn USC’s offense into a one-dimensional attack.
And that Cat ground game really is amazing.
Florida can play a little D, and it got hit for over 300 yards. Mississippi State’s defensive front is outstanding, and it get run through for 227 yards. UK has rushed for four touchdowns in three of the four games, and while USC has a great defensive front, it’s not a Alabama.
What’s Going To Happen
Kentucky is the hot team going right now, and it’s the absolute, 100% real deal. There’s nothing flukish about any of this.
But South Carolina is for real, too.
The Gamecocks failed their first big test against Georgia, but they’re going to match UK run for run, the offensive line is about to come up with a huge performance, and Snell – who cranked out 103 yards on 32 carries in last year’s win – will be held down just enough.
USC gets by in a tough, hard-fought thriller.
Fearless Prediction & Line
South Carolina 23, Kentucky 20
Line: Kentucky -1.5, o/u: 50.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 4
5: Bad Reputation
1: God Friended Me