EditorsNote: Update 2: New 6th, 10th grafs; changes in 1st, 11th, last
No. 17 Kentucky improved to 5-0 on Saturday night with a 24-10 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks at Lexington, Ky.
That is Kentucky’s best start to open a season since 2007, and its 3-0 start in Southeastern Conference play is the program’s best since 1977. The victory also was Kentucky’s fifth straight over the Gamecocks.
South Carolina fell to 2-2 overall, 1-2 in the SEC.
Kentucky blew open the game in the first half, going to halftime up 24-3.
All three of the Wildcats’ touchdowns came via the run on consecutive drives in the second quarter. Quarterback Terry Wilson scored on a 1-yard keeper, Asim Rose followed from 24 yards out and Benny Snell Jr. scored on a 4-yard run.
Wilson didn’t accomplish much with his arm, completing 13 of 20 passes for 132 yards and an interception. But he did have 59 yards on the ground on nine rushes.
Kentucky, the No. 1 rushing offense in the SEC at 269 yards per game, was held to 195 on Saturday. UK ended with 327 yards of total offense.
Snell, the league’s leading rusher at 135 yards per game, added 99 yards on 28 carries. He also raised his SEC-leading touchdown total to eight.
South Carolina’s lone touchdown was a 58-yard pass from quarterback Jake Bentley to Deebo Samuel with just 7:37 left in the third quarter. Bentley, who had connected on 68 percent of his passes coming in, was only 13 of 28 for 148 yards and three interceptions.
Rico Dowdle led South Carolina with 44 rushing yards on 13 attempts, though he lost a fumble.
The Gamecocks had 321 yards of total offense, but had four turnovers. Darius West, Mike Edwards and Derrick Baity Jr. each picked off passes for the Wildcats.
Kentucky faces a stiff test next Saturday, when the Wildcats travel to Texas A&M. South Carolina returns to Williams-Brice Stadium to host Missouri in the first of three consecutive home games.
—Field Level Media