Steve Spurrier is in his sixth season at South Carolina with a record of 39-29 (.574) and in his 26th season overall with a record of 228-110-2 (.674). Spurrier serves as the Gamecocks’ offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator is Lorenzo Ward.
Joker Phillips is in his first season at Kentucky and overall. The Wildcats’ offensive coordinator is Randy Sanders and the defensive coordinator is Steve Brown.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN SOUTH CAROLINA HAS THE BALL
Stephen Garcia threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns as 19th-ranked South Carolina recorded a 35-21 win over top-ranked Alabama last week. Garcia completed 17-of-20 passes and had scoring tosses of nine, 26 and 15 yards for the Gamecocks. Alshon Jeffery leads the SEC and is third in the nation in receiving yards per game, averaging 125.0 yards per contest. He also leads the league in receptions per game (6.8). Marcus Lattimore has rushed for 459 yards on 107 carries and caught 8 passes for 81 yards, scoring nine of South Carolina’s 20 touchdowns on the season.
UK leads the SEC in pass defense, limiting the opponent to just 153.2 yards per game in the air. Danny Trevathan is having an impressive season as he paces the defense with a league-leading 59 tackles. He charted a career-high 17 tackles against Auburn. He also ranks fifth in the league in the tackles for loss category with eight TFL. Winston Guy is second on the team in tackles with 36 stops and has played consistently with at least four tackles each game. The junior from Lexington also grabbed his first collegiate interception in the Auburn game.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN KENTUCKY HAS THE BALL
As a team, South Carolina has 19 sacks through five games, an average of 3.8 per game, which leads the SEC for average and equals LSU in total sacks. Devin Taylor and Melvin Ingram each have 3.5 sacks while LB Rodney Paulk has 2.5. Ingram had his best game as a Gamecock with 2.0 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss in the victory over Alabama. SS DeVonte Holloman has 32 tackles to lead the team.
Senior wide receiver Chris Matthews has five TD catches, leading the SEC in that category. Junior wide receiver Randall Cobb is tied for second with four. Against Auburn, Cobb ran for a TD, passed for a TD and caught a TD. Mike Hartline ranks second in the SEC in passing yards per game (240.3) and is fourth in total offense (246.0 yards per game). He completed 23-of-28 pass against Auburn, marking the best pass completion percentage (82.1).
Through five games, Spencer Lanning has punted 15 times for an average of 46.1 yards per punt; however, he has not punted enough to qualify for the national rankings. He is third in the SEC in that category. He is also 4-for-5 on field goal attempts on the season.
Ryan Tydlacka is in his second season as the starting punter. He averaged a personal-best 50.5 yards per punt vs. Ole Miss, including a career-long 73 yarder. For the season he ranks second in the SEC at 46.1 yards per punt. Freshman Joe Mansour has handled most of the kickoffs this season. He now has a league-leading 14 touchbacks this season. Cobb is a capable punt returner and ranks second in the SEC in punt return average with 12.2 yards per runback. He has two punt return touchdowns in his career.
Record: ARK, SC, 14-6-1
Kentucky and South Carolina meet for the 22nd time in school history... USC leads the all-time series 14-6-1 and has won 10 consecutive over the Cats ... South Carolina holds an 8-3 series lead in games played in Lexington ... UK’s last victory over South Carolina was in 1999, 30-10 in Lexington ... The Gamecocks defeated the Cats 28-26 in Columbia last season...Six of the last eight meetings with the Gamecocks have been determined by seven points or less ... Kentucky is 0-3 against South Carolina when the Gamecocks have been ranked.