With game 4 in the loss column, how did South Carolina perform vs. Kentucky
Sept. 26, 2021
Positives and negatives from South Carolina 16-10 loss to Kentucky Saturday night.
Turnovers: believe it or not the Gamecocks won in the turnover department. After a rough start on the team’s first drive, Clayton White’s defense tightened up and produced four forced fumbles (two recovered) and one interception. That defensive effort gave the Gamecocks offense many opportunities here to climb back into the Game. The Gamecock offense never turned the ball over, it also failed to generate consistent yardage in there drives.
DB Jaylan Foster: Had a great night, Foster leads in interceptions in the SEC, Foster was able to get his fourth takeaway of the young season in the first half against Kentucky, by picking off a deep shot by Kentucky quarterback Will Levis near the end zone. But the offense couldn’t take advantage of the turnover on the offensive end; Foster’s pick helped keep Kentucky from recording a possible 2nd TD for the night.
RB Juju McDowell: Gamecocks offense struggled all night long to get anything going in the first half, it wasn’t because of the freshman RB Juju effort. He lined up at slot receiver and also took part in the backfield along with starter Kevin Harris, Juju used his explosive speed to pick up chunk gains. In the first half, McDowell produced 32 of the Gamecocks 80 yards of offense Saturday night.
Rushing defense: Kentucky running backs put a hurting on the Gamecocks in the ground game, especially in the first half with 109 yards. On the first drive alone that gave them there first points of the game with a TD, Kentucky never fell behind in the contest. Wildcats rushed eight times for 65 yards, punching in a 15-yard touchdown on a rush by Kavosiey Smoke. Tailback Chris Rodriguez rushed for 31 yards on his first three carries. Good news after that the defense did a better job of containing Rodriguez in the middle part of the game, but he helped the Wildcats finished with 144 rushing yards.
First-half offense: The Gamecocks couldn’t put points on the board in the first half, Gamecocks where given excellent field position on two punts downed near midfield resulting on short 4 down conversion that failed on both. Gamecocks had to settle with just 80 yards of offense. Starting his first game at quarterback for the Gamecocks this season, QB Luke Doty completed just six of nine first-half passes for 46 yards, and the Gamecocks converted just one of six third-down attempts as the Gamecocks struggled to sustain drives.
3rd-down conversions: Executing on third downs is one of the key areas where the Gamecocks offense has struggled in the last three games. The Gamecocks converted just three of their 12 attempts, with an average of 7.2 yards to go on third downs. The Gamecocks were also unsuccessful on three fourth-down attempts, with receivers Jalen Brooks and Dakereon Joyner both dropping fourth-down passes in the fourth quarter taking with it any attempt at wining Saturday night.