Sidelines with John Clay

Liveblog: Kentucky 23, South Carolina 13

Kentucky football's Cat Walk at South Carolina

Kentucky players and coaches participate in the Cat Walk prior to their game against South Carolina at William Brice Stadium.
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Kentucky players and coaches participate in the Cat Walk prior to their game against South Carolina at William Brice Stadium.

In a key early-season SEC matchup for both teams, Kentucky visits South Carolina for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia. The SEC Network has the telecast.

Kentucky is 2-0 with a 24-17 road win at Southern Mississippi and a 27-16 home win over Eastern Kentucky. On the way to earning its first bowl bid since 2010, Mark Stoops’ team beat South Carolina 17-10 in Lexington last year for the program’s third straight win over the Gamecocks.

South Carolina is also 2-0, but Will Muschamp’s team is already 1-0 in the conference. The Gamecocks beat North Carolina State 35-28 in Charlotte on opening weekend. Last Saturday, South Carolina traveled to Missouri and, after trailing 10-0 early, beat the host Tigers 31-13.

[How Kentucky and South Carolina match up -- with a game prediction]

Kentucky will be without All-SEC linebacker Jordan Jones, who has been declared out because of a shoulder injury. Eli Brown, a sophomore from Bowling Green, will start in place of Jones. Jamar “Boogie” Watson, a redshirt freshman who moved to inside linebacker from an outside spot, will back up Brown.

South Carolina’s early-season star has been wide receiver/kick returner Deebo Samuel. The speedster returne the opening kickoff of the season 97 yards for a touchdown against N.C. State. He also caught two TD passes in that game. At Missouri, Samuel returned another kickoff for a 97-yard score to cut Mizzou’s lead to 10-7. Missouri promptly through an interception and the next snap after the turnover, Samuel took a jet sweep 25 yards for a touchdown and South Carolina never trailed again.

[Kentucky must focus on Samuel, but can’t lose sight of Gamecocks’ other playmakers]

We will be blogging live from Williams-Brice. Join us with your comments, questions, observations, complaints, etc. If you use your Facebook or Twitter log-in your comments will appear without moderation. You will also avoid the imposters. All comments using the regular comments box are subject to moderation.

Live Blog Liveblog: Kentucky-South Carolina football


When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia

TV: SEC Network with Tom Hart, Jordan Rodgers and Cole Cubelic

Radio: UK Network with Tom Leach, Jeff Piecoro and Dick Gabriel

UK Radio Network affiliates