South Carolina Gamecocks vs Kentucky: Five Key Plays
The South Carolina Gamecocks plans for revenge were thwarted by the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday night in Williams-Brice Stadium. The Gamecocks were down 24-7 at the half, but a furious rally lead by a stingy defense and Perry Orth at quarterback ultimately came up short as the Gamecocks lost 26-22. Here are five key plays from the game.
- Late in the second quarter, Connor Mitch and the offense were driving in Kentucky territory. On 3rd and 4, the Gamecocks decided to run the option to try and pick up the first down. The option pitch was fumbled. Mitch recovered the fumble, was injured on the play, and lost 6 yards. The Gamecocks had to settle for a field goal attempt from 42 yards which was missed by Elliott Fry. Ultimately, had this field goal been made, the Gamecocks may not have been forced to go for the two point conversion to tie late in the game, but more on that later.
- After the missed field goal, Kentucky had enough confidence and time to put together a 7 play, 76 yard drive that would wind up being the game winning touchdown. Towles scored on a run from 1 yard out.
- This isn’t necessarily one play that changed the outcome of the game, but a chance to choose one of three plays. Settling for three field goals while in the redzone cost the Gamecocks greatly, especially when they were inside the 10 hard line during two of those drives. If the Gamecocks had made the most of their opportunities, this game would have been a blow out.
- The Gamecocks came within two after Perry Orth connected with Jerell Adams for a 33 yard touchdown pass. Things just never seemed to go right for the Gamecocks this game. Pharoh Cooper fumbled the ball on the two-point conversion which was returned by Denzil Ware for 2 points on the other end making the score 26-22.
- The Gamecock defense was able to get Kentucky off the field quickly after that botched two-point conversion to give Perry Orth one more shot to complete the comeback. Orth put together a drive and led the Gamecocks to the Kentucky 37. On first and 10, he threw an interception that would seal the Gamecocks fate.
The South Carolina Gamecocks face the Georgia Bulldogs in Athens on Saturday. Kickoff is at 6:00 PM ET and will be televised on ESPN.
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