Mark Stoops has done one of the more underrated coaching jobs at Kentucky the past few years. This is starting to change, however, as Kentucky is ranked for the first time since 2007 at #17. Stoops has steadily built up recruiting, mainly by focusing on finding players in Ohio who Ohio State doesn’t want, and has a staff that can obviously develop those guys. Benny Snell, Jr. is a great RB and Kentucky can really run the ball with him. They’re also solid across the board on defense, with one of the SEC’s best defensive players in Josh Allen, and tall, fast guys at corner. This is very likely the best team Kentucky has fielded in my lifetime.
After getting an unexpected win against Mississippi State last week Kentucky players seem to be feeling pretty good about themselves. I think SC is a much more complete team than any they have faced so far, however. The key for SC is to score and put Kentucky in a hole early. That will put the ball game more on Kentucky QB Terry Wilson’s shoulders, and I’m not sure he’ll be able to win with his arm when he has to. Overall, these two teams are very evenly matched, but SC has the better QB and that will make the difference in this one.
Prediction: USC 27 - Kentucky 24. Miss Teriyaki Chicken isn’t as high on the Gamecocks this week, and has it USC 28 - Kentucky 35.