Another chance to snap a streak



UK has played a Steve Spurrier-coached team 17 times.

UK has lost to those Spurrier-coached teams 17 times.

The Cats (3-3, 0-3 SEC) take on South Carolina a week after the Gamecocks recorded a victory against then-No. 1 Alabama, a win Spurrier called the biggest in school history.

His sideline opponent joked about the gravity of the game from his perspective.

“It’s the biggest game in Joker Phillips’ history,” UK head coach Joker Phillips said. “It’ll be a big game for both of us.”

Phillips doesn’t expect South Carolina to come to Commonwealth still reveling in defeating the defending national champions. (Which, for quick trivia purposes, made South Carolina just the second team in history to defeat the No. 1 team in football, basketball and baseball in the same year. UK was the basketball team last year.) The win put South Carolina at the top of the SEC East for the first time in seven years under Spurrier.

“No, no,” Phillips said in response to whether he thought South Carolina would come in flat. “You look at (Spurrier’s) roster and those guys have been playing a long time together and his quarterback (Stephen Garcia) is an experienced guy that’s been around a long time.”

UK might have to try busting the losing streak without running back Derrick Locke, who suffered a shoulder stinger last Saturday against Auburn. His status is doubtful, and Phillips said Locke is not showing signs of improvement.

Backup running backs Raymond Sanders, Donald Russell and CoShik Williams have been getting additional reps in practice, and Phillips said UK “might have to dust off Moncell (Allen)” if Locke isn’t able to go.