Kentucky beats South Carolina behind strong defensive effort

09/25/2016 12:22 AM

Kentucky’s defense had their best performance of the season tonight, as the Wildcats beat South Carolina 17-10.

The defense forced the Gamecocks to punt on their first four possessions. The one Gamecock touchdown came in the second quarter. Running back AJ Turner scored from 12-yards out to cap off a 10 play, 80-yard drive. The Gamecocks would only score one more time, kicking a field goal in the third quarter. South Carolina finished the game with 268 yards of total offense, 177 passing and 91 rushing.

Jordan Jones continued to build upon his already strong sophomore season. Jones led the team with eight tackles on the night. Defensive end Denzil Ware had a strong outing as well, sacking South Carolina QB Brandon Mcllwain two times, including on a fourth down late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Wildcats victory.

On the other side, the offense was able to establish a strong running game in the second half led by Boom Williams and Benny Snell. Kentucky went into the half with only three points and 155 yards of total offense.

The second half started with a five play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a Boom Williams’ 43-yard touchdown run. Williams finished the game with his second-straight 100-yard performance, rushing for 123 yards on 15 carries (8.2 yards per carry). Freshman Benny Snell also impressed, as he carried the ball nine times for 53 yards in one drive alone. Snell capped off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run to give Kentucky a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 16 carries for 77 yards. Kentucky rushed for 216 yards in the game. Stephen Johnson had a relatively quiet performance, throwing for 135 yards and an interception.

Mark Stoops knew tonight was a really important win for this program.

“Really it just feels good to get to .500. Again, it wasn’t the start we wanted, we can’t change the past, but we can learn from our mistakes and push on. We’re excited to get on to the next opportunity and next week will be a real challenge,” said Stoops.

Kentucky will travel to Tuscaloosa next weekend to take on the Alabama Crimson Tide. Kickoff will be at 7 pm.

Clayton Abernathy

Clayton Abernathy is the producer for KSTV. A recent graduate from the University of Kentucky with a degree in journalism, Clayton covered UK sports throughout his four year college career for various radio and television stations, including an internship with KSTV last summer. He is passionate about UK sports, and loves to apply that passion to his work every day. He loves to eat, run, explore nature, jam with his buddies, and play basketball and golf on the weekends. You can follow Clayton on Twitter @Abernathy_cn2.

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