South Carolina at Kentucky
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Commonwealth Stadium
TV: SEC Network (play-by-play Brent Musburger; analyst Jesse Palmer; sideline Kaylee Hartung)
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Radio: WLAP AM-630, WBUL FM-98.1, XM Channel 190, Sirius Channel 106
Records: South Carolina 2-1 (1-1 SEC); Kentucky 1-2 (0-1)
Series: South Carolina leads 17-9-1, but Kentucky has won two straight
Last meeting: Kentucky won 26-22 on Sept. 12, 2015, in Columbia, S.C.
Line: Kentucky is favored by two points
The story line
Kentucky seeks to maintain the viability of its season — and take some heat off of the embattled Mark Stoops — by beating South Carolina for a third consecutive season.
On the spot
Stoops. Against New Mexico State last week, Stoops, the former Florida State defensive coordinator, said he would be more involved in Kentucky’s defensive game plan. Yet the UK “D” was brutal. Kentucky allowed the Sun Belt Conference team 35 first-half points and 500 total yards for the game. Against South Carolina, the lowest-scoring offense (15.7 points a game) in the SEC, the pressure is on Stoops and the UK defense to produce a better showing.
The big threat
In a close game, South Carolina place-kicker Elliott Fry could be the difference. Fry beat Vanderbilt with a 55-yard field goal and is 4-for-5 on the season with his only miss from 55 yards.
Has been gnarly. Kentucky’s second-half meltdown against Southern Mississippi and total no-show at Florida — coupled with Louisville’s boffo early-season success — has unleashed the furies in the UK fan base. Beating South Carolina may not silence the baying hounds, but it would buy Stoops and Kentucky a viable chance to salvage the season.