USC football is licking its wounds following a 40-13 loss at Georgia this past Saturday. However, the season may really begin this weekend as Carolina (2-1/0-1) entertains Kentucky (3-01/1-0) in the Gamecocks’ SEC home opener. Kentucky is coming off a narrow 28-23 win versus FCS opponent Chattanooga this past Saturday. The Wildcats defeated Missouri 35-28 in their SEC lid lifter on September 11th. UK is averaging nearly 200 rush yards per game, while giving up just 97 per outing on the ground.
On Tuesday, USC head coach Shane Beamer held his weekly press conference to turn the page from Athens to Lexington. Beamer chose the press availability as an opportunity to speak to his fan base. “Gamecock nation, listen to me. We need you there early. We need an environment Saturday night that will be a true home field advantage for us.” He went on to discuss how big of an impact Georgia’s crowd had on his team, especially disrupting communication when USC had the football.
Saturday’s game will be the 33rd meeting all-time between USC and UK with the Gamecocks holding an 18-13-1 edge in the series. However, the Wildcats have dominated the series of late, having won six of the last seven, including a 41-18 victory in Lexington last season. Kickoff is set for 7pm from Williams-Brice Stadium on ESPN2.
Key notes from Beamer’s presser …
- Georgia’s got really good players, so do we. Kentucky’s got really good players, so do we. It’s called the SEC. It’s big boy football.
- Injury wise, Beamer says the Gamecocks are in “really good shape.” He expects QB Zeb Noland to be ready to go on Saturday, though he didn’t throw on Tuesday. Still has stitches from where he got stepped on during the Georgia game.
- Beamer says that if everything goes well this week, Luke Doty will be the starting quarterback versus Kentucky.
- When asked about the taunting penalties the Gamecocks have gotten the past couple of weeks, “the calls we got for taunting the past couple of weeks, we deserved.”
- LB Darryle Ware was placed on scholarship Tuesday morning.
- Says Kentucky will be a handful for USC’s defense. “They are a physical offense that wants to run the football, but has the ability to throw the ball over your head.”