– The South Carolina Gamecocks (3-2, 2-2 SEC) travel to Lexington, Ky, for another SEC Eastern Division matchup this week when they face the Kentucky Wildcats (3-1, 1-1 SEC) at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 4. The 7:30 p.m. ET game will be televised nationally on the SEC Network with Tom Hart and Matt Stinchcomb in the booth and Heather Mitts on the sidelines.
The Gamecocks spent Tuesday afternoon at the Bluff Road “Proving Grounds” preparing for Saturday’s tilt.
Quarterback Dylan Thompson, wide receiver Pharoh Cooper and center Cody Waldrop all returned to practice on Tuesday after sitting out Monday’s workout with a variety of ailments. Defensive line coach Deke Adams indicated that defensive end Gerald Dixon was held out of Tuesday’s session in order to heal up a little bit after getting banged up in the game on Saturday and hopes he will be able to practice on Wednesday.
Following Tuesday’s workout, Kirk Botkin indicated that the revolving door at the Mike linebacker position between T.J. Holloman, Kaiwan Lewis and Marcquis Roberts was based on productivity. Roberts is expected to make his second straight start this week in Kentucky as he’s shown a little more consistency of late. “It’s the same thing week in and week out,” said Botkin. “Whoever makes the most plays, whoever practices best and shows improvement is going to play and we’re going to reward them for that. We’re trying to put the best ones out there and (Roberts) is one of the better ones right now. T.J. is still doing a good job. Kaiwan is a little banged up right now. We’ve got quality depth there. They’re still pushing for the starting job.”
For most of the game last Saturday, the Gamecocks kept good pressure on Missouri quarterback Maty Mauk. “I thought Coach Ward did a great job with the game plan,” said Botkin. “They executed what we asked them to do. (Missouri) is a good football team. They’ve got some high-powered guys. We knew they could score and score fast. We’ve got to start faster and finish stronger.”
Adams echoed Coach Botkin’s sentiments. They did what we asked them to do,” said the defensive line coach of his troops. “They played hard. They ran to the football. We just didn’t finish. We didn’t finish strong the way we needed to. At the very end, we didn’t make plays the way we needed to. If you look at the whole game, I thought we did a good job. Obviously, we didn’t get the result we wanted.”
The Gamecocks will return to the practice fields on Wednesday.