Kentucky at South Carolina
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, SC
Sept. 25, 2021
FINAL SCORE: Kentucky 16, South Carolina 10
Team Records and Series Information

  • Kentucky is 4-0 overall 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference. South Carolina is 2-2, 0-2 in the SEC.
  • UK is 4-0 for the second time under Coach Mark Stoops, also 2018.
    • In the last 20 seasons UK also has been 4-0 in 2002, 2007 and 2008.
  • UK is 2-0 in the SEC for first time since 2018 and only the second time since 1977.
  • South Carolina leads the series, 18-14-1, although UK has won seven of the last eight.
  • Next for Kentucky: UK returns to Lexington for a two-game homestand.
    • On Saturday, October 2, the Wildcats will play host to Florida. Game time will be 6 p.m. and will be announced following results of today’s games.

Team Notes

  • Kentucky has moved above .500 all-time, for the first time since 2012, with an all-time mark of 633-632-44.
  • Since 2016, UK is 18-7 in games decided by seven points or less. UK has won its last five in a row in this category, including the last three games this season.
    • The last time UK won three-straight games by seven points or less was 1933 when the Wildcats had consecutive close wins over Sewanee, Georgia Tech and Cincinnati.
  • Kentucky has won an SEC road game for the seventh straight season, extending the school record for most consecutive seasons with a league road win. 
  • Kentucky defensive notes:
    • Limited South Carolina to 51 total plays
    • Limited South Carolina to 58 net rushing yards, just 2.2 yards per attempt.  USC’s longest run was 10 yards.
    • Limited South Carolina to 216 total yards.
    • Limited South Carolina to 3 of 12 on third-down conversions and 0 of 3 on fourth down.
    • Second time in the last five games that UK has shut out an opponent  in the first half, also the Gator Bowl win over North Carolina State. 
  • UK rushed for 230 yardsIn its two SEC wins this season, UK has averaged 285 yards rushing (also 340 vs. Missouri).
  • Kentucky has scored touchdowns on its first possession the last three games.

Coach Mark Stoops

  • Tonight’s win gave Coach Mark Stoops his 26th Southeastern Conference win, breaking the school record of 25 by Fran Curci. Stoops is 7-2 vs. South Carolina.
  • This was Stoops’ 53rd win as UK head coach.  Paul “Bear” Bryant holds the school record with 60 victories.
  • Stoops is now 53-50 at Kentucky.  After two games of the 2016 season, his record was 12-26 but has gone 41-24 (.631) since.
  • Coach Stoops is in his ninth season as head coach of the Wildcats, tying Fran Curci (1973-81) for most seasons as head coach at UK.
  • Stoops holds the UK record for games coached (103).

Player Notes

  • Junior quarterback Will Levis completed 15 of 22 for 102 yards.

    • He added five carries for 30 yards, including an 18-yard scamper on the first possession of the second half that set up a field goal.
    • (if win) With starting lineups available since 1993, he is the third quarterback since that time to win his first four starts – also Terry Wilson (2018) and Mike Hartline (2008).
  • Junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. rushed 26 times for 144 yards, an average of 5.5 per carry.
    • This is his third 100-yard game of the season, ninth of his career.
    • He has 1,883 career rushing yards, moving past Anthony White, Derrick Ramsey and Marc Logan into 11th place in school history.
  • Junior running back Kavosiey Smoke carried the ball nine times for 50 yards and UK’s only touchdown.
    • He scored on a 15-yard run on the game’s opening possession, his first touchdown of the season and ninth of his career.
    • He has 1,032 career rushing yards, becoming the 41st player in school history with 1,000.
  • Junior wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson led the receivers with seven catches for 65 yards.
  • Senior wide receiver Josh Ali caught four passes for 14 yards.
    • He has 1,079 career receiving yards.
  • Senior linebacker DeAndre Square led the Wildcats with eight tackles.
    • In the second quarter, with South Carolina having the ball on the UK 47-yard line, he made consecutive stops for no gain on 3rd-and-1 and 4th-and-1 to turn over the ball on downs. 
  • Sophomore cornerback Carrington Valentine made four tackles, including a seven-yard quarterback sack that forced a punt. It is the first sack of his career.
  • Sophomore linebacker J.J. Weaver made two tackles, including a quarterback sack.
    • He has made at least one TFL in each of the first four games.
  • Senior defensive end Josh Paschal three tackles and a quarterback hurry.
    • On South Carolina’s final two plays, he forced an incompletion with a quarterback hurry on second down; on third and long, he made a hustling tackle to limit the scrambling quarterback to a four-yard gain, forcing a field-goal attempt.
  • Playing in front of his hometown fans, sophomore safety Jalen Geiger made two tackles, including one for loss.  The TFL came on USC’s final possession and helped forced a field goal.
  • Senior kicker Matt Ruffolo made all three of his field goal attempts, a 43-yarder on the final play of the first half and a 21-yarder of UK’s first possession of the second half, and a clutch 27-yarder that gave UK a two-score lead in the fourth quarter.
    • Ruffolo is now 20 of 24 in his career (83.3 percent, second in UK history).
  • Sophomore defensive tackle Octavious Oxendine made his first collegiate start.
  • Game captains for today were Josh Paschal, Marquan McCall, Luke Fortner and Will Levis.

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