Kentucky began the second quarter receiving a punt to start a possession from its own 13 yard line. They did nothing in three plays and ended up punting from that spot, giving USC the ball back on its own 45.
USC opened the drive in the “Wildcat” formation with Marcus Lattimore taking the snaps. Lattimore handed off to Damiere Byrd on the first play and the freshman wide out reeled of a 21 yard run. Carolina stayed in that formation for another couple of plays before bringing Shaw back in. Carolina did mix up its formations and scored a touchdown on an 11 yard pass to tight end Justice Cunningham on a “funny formation” Spurrier picked up watching the LSU BCS title game a few years ago. It was a 55 yard drive that took seven plays and ran 2:27 off the clock. The extra point was blocked. USC led 13-3.
Kentucky picked up one first down on its next possession before punting it back to USC. The Gamecocks took over on their own 21.
Connor Shaw went back to work on the Gamecocks ensuing drive, leading Carolina down the field and back into the end zone with his third touchdown pass of the day, a 24 yarder to Alshon Jeffery to put the Gamecocks up 20-3 with 7:43 left in the half. The drive covered 79 yards in five plays.
Both teams traded punts and it looked like the half would come to an uneventful end when Kentucky took over on its own 20 with less than 30 seconds to play. However, for reasons that will probably never be known by man, the Wildcats didn’t take a knee and ran the ball with Morgan Newton. He fumbled. USC recovered. Ouch.
Fortunately for the Cats, USC was unable to take advantage of the gift. They missed a 41 yard field goal with two seconds left in the half.
USC 20, KENTUCKY 3