COLUMN: The art of the upset

By Cody Porter

The upset is one of the most thrilling sites in all of sports from a fan’s perspective.

The underdog, which came into the game with no expectations, pulls off the victory amidst varying circumstances, capturing the attention of the nation.

Saturday’s game for the Cats is beginning to show some early signs that I believe warrant putting the South Carolina Gamecocks on “upset alert.”

UK is entering the game on a three-game losing streak while the Gamecocks only have one loss on the season, which came as Auburn edged them out in a 16-13 final last week.

For the so-called upset to take place, UK needs to take advantage of some key opportunities.

I feel the most important factor is that the ol’ ball coach Steve Spurrier, South Carolina’s head coach, is entering the game looking for revenge after UK head coach Joker Phillips’ Cats defeated Spurrier for the first time ever last season.

He is the type of man that is going to be gunning for the big win, and I mean big, if he can possibly achieve it. I guarantee that if the Gamecocks have a large lead entering the fourth quarter, then Spurrier will be looking to keep his starters in for them to pad their stats and attempt to make thing ugly in Columbia.

For this reason, I feel that South Carolina will expect for this week to be an easy rebound game and for the Cats to be only a small hindrance as they vie for a chance to return to the SEC championship game.

Stephen Garcia’s ship has finally sailed off into the sunset at USC after throwing his NCAA leading ninth interception against Auburn. His replacement is sophomore quarterback Connor Shaw. Who, you may ask? Shaw has seen limited playing time during his career, which has amounted to one touchdown and two interceptions, none of which occurred this season.

The UK defense has been the team’s strength thus far, and if they play as they have to date on Saturday, then Shaw may be a gift from the heavens for them. His one start this season was due to Garcia being forced to the bench for an off-season violation, but after East Carolina obtained a large lead early in the game, Spurrier had seen enough of the young quarterback.

In adding to my thoughts on the UK defense, there is an area of concern for them. His name is Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks sophomore running back that they hurt during last season’s victory. Much like his coach, he will be looking to dish out some punishment and he isn’t the type of back to take lightly. Lattimore is the epitome of an SEC player and the third leading rusher in the country.

In doing my finest Jerry Springer impression, my “final thought” is this: UK hasn’t looked great much this season. Actually, it has only come on a few plays here and there. After having spoke on Wednesday of a team lacking confidence, they need to look at what is to be gained here as some motivation.

Morgan Newton will be playing to keep his starting job safe and the remainder of the offense will be looking to improve on their subpar performances this season.

Over and above all, it really has to click at some point this season doesn’t it? At least for one game. And I think we see that resurgence in the form of an upset against Spurrier and South Carolina.