Summary: This one wasn't even two minutes old when Connor Shaw and Damiere Byrd hooked up for a 62-yard TD. On South Carolina's second possession, the UK defense blitzed and the middle was wide open for a 22-yard TD by Mike Davis. Jalen Whitlow got the nod at QB for UK but had little early success. It was looking ugly as South Carolina marched with ease, going up 21-0 on the second play of the second quarter. Jojo Kemp was a spark in a 14-play, 75-yard UK drive capped by a two-yard TD run by Raymond Sanders. UK was outgained 297-100 in the half.
Halftime: South Carolina 24, Kentucky 7.
Thumbs up: Steve Spurrier for taking out his first-team quarterback and running back, resulting in his team's only punt of the half and causing a momentum shift.
Thumbs down: All aspects of the UK game for the first 22 minutes.
Worthy of a replay: The look of frustration on the face of Mark Stoops when it was 21-0.
Summary: A South Carolina field goal made it 27-7. Kentucky was not done. Whitlow looked sharper than he has all year in directing Kentucky on a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive to make it 27-14 with 13:43 left. Malcolm McDuffen forced a fumble on the kickoff and Dyshawn Mobley recovered at the Carolina 35. On third-and-14, Ryan Timmons did some nice footwork on a TD catch and it was 27-21. The UK defense failed to respond and South Carolina marched 89 yards. Right back came the Cats — 81 yards in 8 plays and it was 35-28 with 4:02 left. South Carolina ran out the clock.
Final: South Carolina 35, Kentucky 28.
Thumbs up: Whitlow and young playmakers.
Thumbs down: The UK defense could not make a stop when needed most.
Worthy of a replay: The hit by McDuffen that created the fumble and put UK back in the game.
■ Mark Stoops was upset with his defense at practice this week. Now we know why.
■ This Kentucky team has a lot of fight.
■ Whitlow showed what won him the starting job in practice. Maybe Stoops sticking with one guy let Whitlow find a rhythm.
■ Rarely has a loss that started so bad felt so promising.
■ This offense was exciting and productive.
Numbers don't lie
■ Less than nine minutes into the game, South Carolina had three plays for over 20 yards. Two were scores. In its first 14 plays, Carolina gained 157 yards.
■ First quarter: South Carolina 224 yards and 10 first downs; Kentucky 34 yards and two first downs.
■ Kentucky did not commit a turnover and was penalized twice for nine yards (one of those was a key questionable call for too many players on the field on the game's final drive).
■ UK has not scored in third quarter this year.
■ Combined, the starting quarterbacks hit 34-of-44 passes with no picks.
UK fans get to see two-time defending national champ and No. 1 ranked Alabama next week.