College Football
Preview
South Carolina at Kentucky
When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2020
Where: Kroger Field, Lexington, Kentucky

Two teams that want a win to close struggling seasons will be matched when Kentucky hosts South Carolina in a Southeastern Conference game Saturday night in Lexington.

The Wildcats (3-6, 3-6 SEC) have been outscored 97-13 in losses at Alabama and Florida in the past two weeks, and the Gamecocks (2-7, 2-7) are on a five-game losing streak, including their past two since coach Will Muschamp was fired after a 59-42 loss at Ole Miss.

South Carolina has dropped 17-10 and 45-16 decisions to Missouri and Georgia, respectively, under interim coach Mike Bobo.

"Obviously, this year has been very frustrating and has not gone the way we've wanted it to," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "It's been very well-documented how it's been very different and how unsettling it is and disappointing, so hopefully we can finish up the right way."

Kentucky's most recent win was 38-35 over Vanderbilt on Nov. 14, and even that one is somewhat tainted by the number of points the Wildcats gave up. It was a season high for the winless Commodores, who have been held to a touchdown or less three times this season.

The Wildcats also have victories over Mississippi State (24-2 score) and Tennessee (34-7).

Injuries have had an impact. Quarterback Terry Wilson missed one game -- a 20-10 loss to Missouri -- and linebacker J.J.Weaver, who started last week at Florida, will miss Saturday's finale because of a reported torn ACL.

"He was arguably playing just as good as anybody on our team," Stoops said, "so it's disappointing."

And, of course, the Wildcats have had to deal with COVID-19 issues.

"We have 26 to 27 people in this building who have it right now, but we're still competing and we're playing by the rules," Stoops said. "Again, we're not gonna duck anybody and we're gonna play. That's the way I've always been. That's the way we're gonna do it."

Cornerback Kelvin Joseph (team-high four interceptions this year), however, has decided not to play the final game in order to prepare for the NFL draft.

The Gamecocks, meanwhile, could have leading receiver Shi Smith (54 catches, 605 yards) back after he sat out the Georgia game with a concussion. But Bobo said defensive lineman Kingsley "J.J." Enagbare (COVID-19), the SEC sacks leader with six, and linebacker Ernest Jones (leg injury), the team's leading tackler with 86 stops, are out.

Running back Kevin Harris is on the verge of becoming South Carolina's first 1,000-yard rusher since Mike Davis had 1,183 yards in 2013. Harris is in line for the feat despite playing just a 10-game schedule against all SEC opponents. He has 928 yards on 164 carries in nine games.

"I think it's a goal that is on our kids' minds and not just Kevin," Bobo said. "It's something that the offense takes pride in, especially the offensive line and the running backs. They know how close he is and know what he has meant to this football team offensively in the run game and pass game. They want to see him get to 1,000 yards."

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
South Carolina 2-7 L5 24.1 35.4 1-4 1-3 1-7 0-0 2-7
Kentucky 3-6 L2 19.6 27.3 2-2 1-4 3-5 0-0 3-6
Last Meeting
South Carolina Kentucky
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/28/19 UK 7 SOCAR 24 387 247 140 212 115 97
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Carolina R. Hilinski 55.6 140 0 0
Kentucky S. Smith 34.4 90 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Carolina T. Feaster 15 107 7.1 2
Kentucky C. Rodriguez Jr. 6 65 10.8 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Carolina B. Edwards 6 37 6.2 0
Kentucky A. Wagner 2 35 17.5 0
Touchdowns Player TD
South Carolina T. Feaster 2
Kentucky C. Rodriguez Jr. 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
South Carolina C. Hill 59.1 1411 6 6
Kentucky T. Wilson 62.3 891 7 4
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
South Carolina K. Harris 164 928 5.7 14
Kentucky C. Rodriguez Jr. 88 562 6.4 6
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
South Carolina S. Smith 54 605 11.2 4
Kentucky J. Ali 43 424 9.9 1
Touchdowns Player TD
South Carolina K. Harris 15
Kentucky C. Rodriguez Jr. 6
Quickchart Matchup
South Carolina South Carolina Off vs  Kentucky Kentucky Def
South Carolina 349.7 yards
Kentucky 385.1 yards
South Carolina 4.3 yards/rush
Kentucky 4.1 yards/rush
South Carolina 6.6 yards/attempt
Kentucky 7.3 yards/attempt
Kentucky Kentucky Off vs  South Carolina South Carolina Def
Kentucky 291.4 yards
South Carolina 447 yards
Kentucky 4.6 yards/rush
South Carolina 4.7 yards/rush
Kentucky 5.3 yards/attempt
South Carolina 8.9 yards/attempt