Across the (By)Line: South Carolina Gamecocks


Sydney Dunlap | Daily Gamecock

A group of South Carolina Gamecocks players make a tackle during the South Carolina vs. Georgia State football game on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina. Photo by Sydney Dunlap | Daily Gamecock

Cole Parke, Sports Editor

The “Across the (By)Line” series will give Kentucky football fans an in-depth look at their opponent for this week — from the mind of the opposing school’s sports editor.

This week: The Daily Gamecock, Lawson Murrell, South Carolina

Having decimated SC State over the weekend, do you think South Carolina will be entering the matchup with UK with more confidence than many may predict?

Yes, I believe that the last two wins for the Gamecocks over UNC Charlotte and SC State will galvanize the team. Despite both games being viewed as easy wins for South Carolina it seems like the offense has finally found its rhythm and the team will be looking to continue its momentum on the road against the Wildcats. While many would predict a blowout this weekend, I think that South Carolina will go into Lexington with a reinforced self-belief, and if the Gamecocks can establish the run early and keep the game relatively close, they may have a chance to pull off the upset.

Five games into the season, how impressed or unimpressed are you with what you’ve seen out of Spencer Rattler so far this season?

It’s hard to definitively label Rattler’s performance as good or bad so far this season in my opinion. His stats are not eye-popping but objectively neither interception against SC State was his fault. It’s important to remember that this is his first year with the team and I think most South Carolina fans were, prematurely, expecting immediate production. I think he has been holding onto the ball for too long in the pocket throughout but as he continues to gain familiarity with the offensive scheme and his receivers there should be continued improvement. In short, I was unimpressed with how he began the year, but I have been impressed with how he has improved each game and I think he will continue to settle in.

What is it about this South Carolina team that Kentucky is going to have the most issues with on Saturday?

The Gamecocks’ game against SC State was moved up to Thursday to avoid the effects of Hurricane Ian so the team will have extra rest ahead of its road test against Kentucky. South Carolina could get a few key contributors on both sides of the ball back from injury which will improve depth and could make it harder for the Wildcats run game to wear South Carolina down. Overall, South Carolina’s offense has been productive this season, aside from the Georgia game, so if Rattler, Marshawn Lloyd and Co. can move the ball consistently and keep the Gamecock defense off the field for stretches then the Wildcats could find themselves in a close game in the fourth quarter.

The line has opened up at UK-10.5, do you think that’s fair? What do you think is going to happen this Saturday?

As far as the betting line, I think it’s fair to think Kentucky will win by double-digits at home coming off a tough loss to Ole Miss. I think the Wildcats will bring some extra motivation into the game with the goal of reminding the SEC that they are one of the stronger teams this season and lifting the spirits of the fans. The Kentucky run game has been very productive this season and South Carolina has struggled this year defending the run. In my opinion, pulling off an away win against a Top-15 conference opponent will be a tall task for the Gamecocks and the extra rest could end up causing more harm than good. On Saturday I think Kentucky will start off strong and it will be up to South Carolina to try to respond. I think it’s safe to back Kentucky to right the ship with a win against the Gamecocks.

Score prediction: 31-21 Kentucky