Everything went downhill from there, though, as the Kentucky Wildcats reeled off their fourth consecutive victory over SC with a 23-13 win in front of a sellout crowd at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C.
"Extremely disappointed", coach Will Muschamp said. Kicking was an issue for SC, who missed all three of their field goal attempts and an extra point attempt off Samuel's opening touchdown. Samuel finished with five catches for 122 yardsbefore leaving in the second half with a broken leg.
Shell game: Kentucky used three different players at quarterback in the first quarter alone, and none of them was backup quarterback Drew Barker, a one-time SC recruiting target. Whatever the case, Johnson returned to rally the Wildcats with two touchdowns for a 27-16 win to improve to 8-4 as the starter and 10-4 overall. For me on third and fourth down, I had 1 yard to go. Bentley and the Gamecocks tried to rally late, as the quarterback hit OrTre Smith on a 9-yard pass for the freshman's first career touchdown, cutting the score to 20-13 with 6:26 remaining. SC gained only 54 yards on the ground, led by Rico Dowdle with 23 yards. Bentley found him on a skinny crossing route on the first offensive play of the game and he raced 68 yards to put SC ahead 6-0 with 14:47 left in the first quarter.
"I thought we were going to make the first down", Muschamp said. Samuel took the opening kickoff 97 yards for a TD against North Carolina State two weeks ago, then went 97 yards against Missouri to start the Gamecocks scoring.
"The main thing is we were fired up and ready to play", he said.
Not as special: The Gamecocks dominated their first two opponents in special teams, but it all came crashing down Saturday night. SC field goal kicker Parker White missed both of his opportunities - from 52 and 54 yards, while Woznick missed from 42 yards. The Wildcats have run for over 200 yards in each of the wins.