COLUMBIA, S.C. — Steve Spurrier has never seemed shy about pouring it on an overmatched foe.
South Carolina was leading Kentucky 47-3 Saturday in Williams-Brice Stadium when the Gamecocks took over the ball at their own 24 with 3:38 left in the game.
On the ensuing drive, South Carolina completed three passes in what became a 10-play drive. With a chance to let the game clock run out without scoring, the Gamecocks instead rushed to the line of scrimmage to run one more play.
It became a Dylan Thompson 8-yard touchdown run with eight seconds left in what became a 54-3 victory.
Afterward, Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips did not complain about South Carolina throwing so late in a game that was clearly decided.
"Nah, that's what they do," Phillips said. "That's their offense. Why should our problem become their problem?"
Kentucky star linebacker Danny Trevathan said he, too, was not upset with Spurrier. "I know he had the lead, but that's his style of coaching," Trevathan said. "We needed to stop them."
Kentucky's immense offensive futility (96 total yards) was not because the Cats didn't open up the playbook.
UK tried three trick plays: a halfback pass, an end-around pass to the quarterback and a reverse.
"We haven't been a team that can just take it and drive it down the field," said UK offensive coordinator Randy Sanders. "We were trying to generate some big plays without a lot of quote-unquote 'big-play guys.'"
None of the three plays yielded positive results. Wide receiver Matt Roark's pass back to UK quarterback Morgan Newton in the third period was incomplete. Roark's run attempt on the reverse later in the same quarter lost a yard.
The first of the three trick plays had a chance to go big. With UK down only 7-3 and facing a third-and-two at the Cats' 44, Josh Clemons took a pitch on an apparent sweep that was actually a halfback pass.
Roark was at least 10 yards in the clear behind the duped South Carolina secondary. Clemons' pass, however, was a wounded duck that held up in the air. South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore raced back into the play and picked off the pass at the Gamecocks' 5-yard line.
Said Clemons: "I just let the ball get away from me. I threw it better (in practice) sometimes. This time, it didn't go my way."
Sanders on the field
Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders, who is normally in the press box during games, was on the sideline Saturday.
"Randy wanted to get down there and get close to Morgan (Newton)," Phillips said of the UK quarterback. "We thought having Randy down there and talking to him would help. Obviously, it didn't."
Newton finished 4-for-20 passing for 17 yards with an interception.
■ Steve Spurrier is now 18-1 as a head coach (Florida and South Carolina) against Kentucky. In those 19 games, Spurrier's teams have scored 40 or more points against the Cats 10 times and 50 or more six times.
■ UK's Roark blocked a second-quarter extra-point attempt by South Carolina's Jay Wooten. It is the seventh blocked place-kick in the UK career of the 6-foot-5 Roark.
■ South Carolina multi-sport standout Bruce Ellington had one turnover against Kentucky in each of the basketball games he played against the Cats last season as the point guard for Darrin's Horn's Gamecocks.
He matched that Saturday as a kick returner for Spurrier by fumbling away the opening kickoff. Ellington earned some redemption late in the fourth quarter with a 61-yard touchdown run.
Kentuckian scores TD
Wide receiver D.L. Moore, a former high school teammate of UK offensive guard Stuart Hines at Bowling Green, scored a fourth-period touchdown for South Carolina on an 8-yard pass from backup quarterback Andrew Clifford.
Kentucky, 2-4 after being outscored 137-20 in a brutal three-game stretch against Florida, LSU and South Carolina, has an open date this Saturday before returning to action against Jacksonville State on Oct. 22 in Commonwealth Stadium.
"A much-needed two-week break," Joker Phillips said. "We've got to try to figure out those answers, especially offensively. We've got to try to figure out our best personnel, our best schemes and gotta rep them over and over and over."