South Carolina-Kentucky Preview Capsule

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Associated Press

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 3:00 PM

No. 6 South Carolina (4-0, 2-0 SEC) at Kentucky (1-3, 0-1), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)

Line: South Carolina by 21

Series Record: South Carolina leads 15-7-1

WHAT'S AT STAKE

South Carolina can tie SEC East-leading Florida for the division lead. The Gamecocks also seek their first 5-0 start under coach Steve Spurrier and a good tuneup for next week's division showdown with Georgia. Kentucky, shut out 38-0 at Florida last week, is trying to end a two-game losing streak.

KEY MATCHUP

South Carolina DEs Jadeveon Clowney and Devin Taylor vs. Kentucky OTs Darrian Miller and Kevin Mitchell. Clowney (4.5 sacks) has earned attention, but Taylor (10 tackles, two for loss) gets in the backfield a lot, too. Kentucky has allowed just four sacks with Mitchell and Miller but Florida pushed the offensive line back often last week, rattling emergency starter Morgan Newton into throwing three interceptions.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

South Carolina: QB Connor Shaw. Answered questions about his sore shoulder by completing a school-record 20 consecutive passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns in the Gamecocks' 31-10 victory against Missouri last week. He also likes to run, carrying 31 times for 127 yards in three games.

Kentucky: QB Maxwell Smith. The sophomore returns after missing the Florida game with a separated throwing shoulder. He has completed 102 of 149 passes for 966 yards and eight touchdowns.

FACTS & FIGURES

Shaw's completion streak tied Ole Miss' Kent Austin (1982) for second-longest in SEC history. He's three shy of Tee Martin's conference record set in 1998 with Tennessee. ... South Carolina has won seven of its last eight road games dating back to last season. It opened this season with a 17-13 win at Vanderbilt. ... Kentucky lost 54-3 to South Carolina last year in Columbia but won the last meeting at Commonwealth Stadium, rallying from a 28-10 deficit for a 31-28 victory. The Wildcats are 4-8 against the Gamecocks at home.

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