OPPONENT: Kentucky Wildcats
WHEN: Saturday, September 28th
WHERE: Williams-Brice Stadium (Columbia, SC)
ALL-TIME SERIES RECORD: South Carolina leads 17-12-1
LAST MEETING: Kentucky beat the Gamecocks 24-10 in Lexington
2018 RECORD: 10-3 (5-3)
Stoops returns for his seventh season at Kentucky added leading the Wildcats to a breakout season in 2018.
He did arguably the best job amongst SEC Coaches a year ago, leading UK to a 10-3 (5-3) overall record.
A man who has faced a lot of scrutiny while in Lexington, Stoops rewarded Wildcats fans for their patience last season and looks to have as much job security as ever heading into 2019.
- WR Lynn Bowden Jr. (Jr.)
- LG Logan Stenberg (Sr.)
- C Drake Jackson (Jr.)
- QB Terry Wilson (Jr.)
- DE Calvin Taylor Jr. (Sr.)
- NG Quinton Bohanna (Jr.)
- MLB Kash Daniel (Sr.)
- SLB Jamar Watson (Jr.)
How did they fare in 2018?
2018 provided one of the best seasons Kentucky fans have seen in quite some time on the gridiron.
UK shocked the SEC East out of the gate, beating the Florida Gators for the first time since 1986.
The Wildcats won 10 games for the first time in 41 years, shocking the CFB world.
Benny Snell left his place in UK history, leaving Lexington as the Cats all time leading rusher.
The defense was no slouch either, led by NFL first rounder Josh Allen and a plethora of experience on that side of the ball.
Best Returning Player…
WR Lynn Bowden Jr.
Bowden returns as the Cats most dynamic playmaker and a guy QB Terry Wilson will rely on heavily this season.
The junior was solid in 2018, leading UK in receptions (67), receiving yards (745) and touchdowns (5).
With questions at running back after Benny Snell’s departure, the pressure will fall squarely on the shoulders of Bowden to be the playmaker the Wildcats offense will so desperately need.
It couldn’t happen again…right?
Simply put, Kentucky’s current five game winning streak over South Carolina is one of the most maddening stats in all of college football.
What’s arguably more maddening is how those games have gone. Kentucky has whipped the Gamecocks on the line of scrimmage the past five years and a few of the contests haven’t been particularly close.
After a 10 win season, it feels the Cats almost have to take a step back in 2019.
Losses of RB Benny Snell, LB Josh Allen and others will loom large and UK will float around the .500 mark all season long.
Still, the question remains: is this the year South Carolina finally ends the dreaded streak and gets the Wildcat sized monkey off their back?
Here’s the bottom line: you can’t convince anyone the program is headed in the right direction with another loss to UK.
While it’s not the “biggest” game of 2019, it may be the most important for USC.
2019 SEASON PROJECTION: 5-7 (2-6)