NCAA Game Summary - Kentucky at South Carolina|
(Saturday, October 8th)
Final Score: (18) South Carolina 54, Kentucky 3
Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - Connor Shaw returned to the South Carolina
lineup and threw for 311 yards with four touchdowns for the 18th-ranked
Gamecocks in a 54-3 rout of Kentucky at Williams-Brice Stadium.
Shaw was the starter for South Carolina's season-opener against East Carolina,
but was removed in favor of Stephen Garcia, who led the Gamecocks to a come-
from-behind win. Garcia struggled in last week's 16-13 loss to Auburn and head
coach Steve Spurrier decided to make the switch back to Shaw.
"Connor has been here two years," South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier
said. "He's been practicing. He practiced well this week. He was sharper in
practice than he was today. We had a lot of good plays called, and he threw
them perfectly. That's the result we got. He missed a few. We have a chance to
play better the more he plays."
The sophomore completed 26-of-39 passes and was not intercepted as the
Gamecocks (5-1, 3-1 SEC) took advantage of a struggling Kentucky squad. South
Carolina rolled up 639 yards of offense, including a 102-yard rushing effort
from Marcus Lattimore.
Kentucky (2-4, 0-3) managed just 96 yards and six first downs in its fourth
straight setback. The Wildcats have been outscored 137-20 in losses to
Florida, LSU and now South Carolina over the last three weeks to start the
"Ugly is how you can describe it," Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips said of
his team's performance. "Especially offensively, (we) had a chance to make a
play early in the first half, wide open guy but threw it inside and (they)
made an interception. (We have) an offense that can't make plays, can't stay
on the field, an offense that turns the ball over six times, numerous times on
first down. Which means your defense has to go right back on the field after
just getting (off) there."
Morgan Newton was a dismal 4-of-20 passing for 17 yards with an interception
in defeat. He was also the Wildcats' leading rusher with 54 yards on 14
It was the largest margin of victory in the series, eclipsing South Carolina's
42-6 romp in 2001.
Kentucky took advantage of a South Carolina fumble on the opening kickoff and
grabbed a quick 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal by Craig McIntosh, but Shaw
followed by directing a seven-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard
touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery just under three minutes later.
The Wildcats tried some trickery late in the first quarter with a halfback
pass from Josh Clemons, but Stephon Gilmore came away with an interception at
the South Carolina 19. Newton was picked off by Victor Hampton on Kentucky's
South Carolina was unable to convert those turnovers into points, but extended
its lead to 13-3 early in the second quarter when Shaw hit Justice Cunningham
for an 11-yard score. The extra point attempt was blocked.
Shaw added his third scoring pass of the half on South Carolina's ensuing
series, as Jeffery caught pass and raced to the left pylon for a 24-yard
touchdown to make it 20-3 with 7:43 left in period.
The Gamecocks didn't muster a threat for the rest of the half, but Shaw threw
a 25-yard TD pass to Nick Jones midway through the third quarter and Jay
Wooten added field goals of 48 and 42 yards to give South Carolina a 33-3
cushion heading to the fourth.
Bruce Ellington scored on a 61-yard run off a direct snap early in the final
period and a Jonathan George fumble led to a seven-yard scoring pass from
Andrew Clifford to D.L. Moore. Fourth-string quarterback Dylan Thompson put
the finishing touches on the annihilation with an eight-yard touchdown run in
the final seconds.
The Gamecocks ran for 288 yards...Jeffery had six receptions for 95 yards. He
was one of 10 different South Carolina players with a catch...South Carolina
has won 11 of the last 12 meetings. The lone loss in that span came last year
in a 31-28 decision at Lexington...The Gamecocks improved to 15-7-1 all-time
against Kentucky...The Wildcats have lost six straight in Columbia, last
winning at Williams-Brice Stadium in 1999...South Carolina visits Mississippi
State next week...Kentucky is idle next weekend and then hosts Jacksonville
State on October 22.
10/08 20:01:04 ET