Tavien Feaster rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and Rico Dowdle added 102 yards and one score on 15 rushes as South Carolina cruised to a 24-7 victory over Kentucky on Saturday night in SEC play at Columbia, S.C.
Ryan Hilinski was 15-of-27 passing for 140 yards for the Gamecocks (2-3, 1-2 SEC), who snapped a two-game slide. D.J. Wonnum had three sacks and forced a fumble to lead a stingy South Carolina defense.
Sawyer Smith completed 11 of 32 passes for 90 yards and one interception for Kentucky (2-3, 0-3), which lost its third straight game. The Wildcats avoided being blanked when Chris Rodriguez scored on a 2-yard run with 2:32 remaining.
South Carolina outgained Kentucky 387-212 with 247 of the yards coming on the ground. The Wildcats were just 2-of-15 on third-down conversions and had just nine first downs to the Gamecocks’ 21.
South Carolina broke a five-game losing streak against the Wildcats.
Dowdle exited with an ankle injury with 13:48 remaining in the game but broke off his team’s longest run on his first second-half carry to increase South Carolina’s lead to 17.
The touchdown was set up by the defense as Wonnum sacked Smith and knocked the ball loose with Aaron Sterling recovering at the Wildcats’ 30-yard line. On the next play, Dowdle scampered around left end for a 30-yard score that was a crusher for a Kentucky team struggling to move the ball.
Feaster added a 19-yard scoring run down the right sideline with 7:48 left. He was on the verge of being stopped at the 2 before he bulled through Kentucky safety Yusuf Corker to reach the end zone to make it 24-0.
The Gamecocks scored on the game’s first possession when they moved 75 yards on 11 plays. Feaster finished the drive off by scoring from the 2.
South Carolina increased the lead to 10-0 on Parker White’s 26-yard field goal with 11:43 remaining in the half.
The Gamecocks outgained the Wildcats 225-78 in the first half and held a 13-2 edge in first downs.
—Field Level Media