COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Gamecocks knew what was at stake coming into Saturday night’s game.
With a 1-3 record, Will Muschamp and company needed a win to relieve some pressure and keep their bowl hopes intact. Tavien Feaster and Rico Dowdle each combined for 209 yards and three touchdowns to help Carolina pick up a 24-7 win over Kentucky.
Carolina got the scoring started early by marching 75 yards down the field. The Gamecocks needed just under four minutes for the scoring drive, which was capped by a 2-yard -run by Tavien Feaster giving Carolina a 7-0 lead.
Kentucky’s first drive didn’t see similar success. Ernest Jones put an end to the Wildcats’ opening series with his first interception of the year. However, the Gamecocks were unable to capitalize on the takeaway and put points on the board.
South Carolina finished the quarter with 108 yards while Kentucky could only come away with 37 yards.
Carolina added to their lead in the second quarter. Following a 26-yard Parker White field goal to extend their lead, but the second quarter belonged to the Carolina defense. The Gamecocks surrendered just 41 yards to Kentucky on their way to taking a 10-0 lead into the half.
The Gamecocks continued to pour it on in the second half. The defense came up with its second takeaway when DJ Wonnum sack Sawyer Smith and forced a fumble, which was recovered by Aaron Sterling for Carolina. On the very next play, Rico Dowdle scored on a 30-yard run extending the lead to 17-0.
South Carolina tacked on one more score for good measure. This time, Feaster found the end zone with a 19-yard run.
Kentucky would avoid the shutout with 2:32 left in the fourth quarter. Christopher Rodriguez found the end zone with a 2-yard run for the Wildcats.
Feaster finished with 107 yards on the ground while Dowdle came away with 102 yards. In total, South Carolina put up 387 total yards while holding Kentucky to 212 yards, including 97 passing yards.
The win pushes Carolina’s record to 2-3 on the season. They’ll return to action on October 12 when they travel to Georgia.