South Carolina Football: Quick hit after Kentucky win

South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports Kentucky
South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports Kentucky /

In South Carolina football’s 11th game of the season, the Gamecocks found themselves in a must-win situation. In order to achieve traditional bowl eligibility and have a shot at a winning season, USC had to beat Kentucky this Saturday and the rival Clemson Tigers next Saturday. This followed the two previous weeks of must-wins over Jacksonville State and Vanderbilt.

After the Gamecocks and Wildcats faced off on Saturday evening in a rowdy Williams-Bruce Stadium, step three was accomplished.

In a contest that saw South Carolina football move from a slight underdog to a 3.5-point favorite in the days leading up to the game, the Gamecocks won by 3. As the old saying goes, “Vegas always knows.”

After a really impressive start offensively, the Gamecocks led 10-0 before the Wildcats stormed back with 14 unanswered points.

The Gamecocks struggled on offense just as Kentucky got going. UK led 14-10 heading into the 4th quarter, but Spencer Rattler found Xavier Legette for their second touchdown connection of the night to put the home team ahead 17-14.

Kentucky threatened two more times late, but the Gamecock defense held strong to preserve the victory, stopping the ‘Cats twice in the final minutes with a Jordan Strachan strip sack (recovered by Tonka Hemingway) and multiple passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage.

17. 850. Final. 14. 833

South Carolina’s defense played its best game of the season, holding Kentucky to under 300 yards of offense and forcing three turnovers. Nick Emmanwori, Jordan Strachan, and Tonka Hemingway had standout performances as Shane Beamer beat Mark Stoops for the second year in a row.

Now 5-6, South Carolina football is one win away from traditional bowl eligibility with only the rival Clemson Tigers standing in their way. The Palmetto State rivals will kick off at 7:30 at Williams-Brice Stadium.


Related Story. South Carolina Football: Could Juice Wells return. light