The keys to South Carolina-UK

ccosby@herald-leader.comOctober 16, 2010 

UK-SC Football

Mike Hartline sat on the bench after injuring his knee at South Carolina last season.

CHARLES BERTRAM

South Carolina (4-1, 2-1 SEC) at Kentucky (3-3, 0-3)

When: 6 p.m. TV: ESPN2

Where: Commonwealth Stadium

Radio: WLAP-AM 630, WBUL-FM 98.1

Series: South Carolina leads 14-6-1

Last meeting: South Carolina won 28-26 in Columbia last season.

Line: South Carolina is favored by 5 points.

THE KEYS

Attack the secondary

Kentucky's running game will take a hit in the likely event that tailback Derrick Locke can't go. South Carolina has some holes in its pass defense. With Mike Hartline playing well, UK's best recipe for a win might be an all-out aerial assault.

Contain Lattimore

South Carolina freshman back Marcus Lattimore isn't a home-run threat, but he can grind out chunks of yardage. The Wildcats haven't had much luck stopping the run but, if they can at least force quarterback Stephen Garcia into some third-and-long situations, they'll improve their chances. If Lattimore gets rolling, that will open things up over the top for receiver Alshon Jeffery.

Forget about streaks, Spurrier

Most UK-South Carolina games have gone down to the wire, and this one figures to be no different. The Cats have to tune out the fact that Steve Spurrier is unbeaten against them and that they haven't beaten the Gamecocks in 10 tries. The UK offense got a field goal to tie late against Auburn. This time, it needs to be a touchdown. And the defense has to come up with the stops it couldn't manage in the final 7:30 last week.

THE MOOD

This isn't necessarily a must-win for Kentucky because their remaining schedule will still give them at least a chance to finish strong. But if they have hopes of finishing fourth or higher in the East, this is one they need to get. Plus, the goodwill that Joker Phillips gained from the season-opening win over Louisville has worn off with fans. He needs to get another signature win under his belt.

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