South Carolina Week 5 Recap: On the road in Kentucky

South Carolina beats Kentucky in Lexington, 38-17.

Road games in the Southeastern Conference are not beauty contests. The South Carolina Gamecocks were a hot mess in the first half and down by 10 points at half time but turned the game around and got out of Lexington with a 38-17 win over the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday night. The sixth ranked Gamecocks’ record improved to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the SEC while Kentucky fell to 1-4 and 0-2 in conference.

After a sloppy start to the game which came just yards away from turning into a 24-7 Kentucky lead at half time, Carolina adjusted their offense and their attitude and dominated the second half, scoring 31 unanswered points and shutting down the upstart Wildcats. A heavy dose of running back Marcus Lattimore led the comeback, as Lattimore turned in 120 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Connor Shaw was hot on his heels with 96 rushing yards, 148 passing yards, and two touchdowns through the air. Shaw finished the night with 15 completions out of 18 passing attempts.

The garnet and black defense gutted out another tough performance despite early troubles. Kentucky took a 17-7 lead in the second quarter and had the Gamecocks looking slow, even after their starting quarterback Maxwell Smith left the game with a leg injury and was replaced by freshman Jalen Whitlow. But the defense cracked down after half time, forcing Kentucky to punt on their first three drives of the second half and collecting two interceptions, one by DeVonte Holloman and the other by Gerald Dixon Jr, on the fourth and fifth drives to help ice the game. Carolina collected seven sacks in the game and now ranks second in the country with 22 sacks for the season.

It didn’t take long for everyone to start looking forward to next Saturday, with the undefeated Georgia Bulldogs coming to Columbia for what could be THE game of the SEC East Division race. The excitement and atmosphere will be ramped up and last night we learned on Twitter that ESPN’s College GameDay will be in town, broadcasting live from USC’s Horseshoe.

After building a 21-10 lead over the Tennessee Volunteers, Georgia struggled to put the Vols down but eventually prevailed in a shootout with a 51-44 win in Athens. As ESPN pointed out the other night, something has to give between the Dawgs’ high-flying offense and the Gamecocks’ suffocating defense. Whoever comes out on top of this game will be in the hunt not only for the SEC championship but the Bowl Championship Series title as well.

So break out your finest tailgating china and get those garnet and black outfits ready ladies, this weekend is as big as it gets for the Gamecocks. Kickoff is 7 pm EST and the game will be on ESPN. Join us on the Horseshoe for the live airing of College GameDay from 9 am to 12 pm Saturday. If you’re watching from home, the show starts on ESPNU at 9 am and moves to ESPN at 10 am. We can’t wait!

– COURTESY OF M&M Snead for Gamecock Girls

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