Big Blue Notes: Wildcats outplay Gamecocks in Columbia to take a 23-13 conference win

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column 'Big Blue Notes' appears regularly in The Lake News.

Eric Howard is a Calvert City native who lives in Lexington and is a committed UK Wildcat fan. His column ‘Big Blue Notes’ appears regularly in The Lake News.

Cats come alive versus South Carolina
After two disconcerting efforts versus less talented opponents, Mark Stoops and the Wildcats came through in a big way against South Carolina on Saturday evening. Entering the contest as a seven point underdog, the Wildcats outplayed the Gamecocks in every facet of the game on their way to a 23-13 victory.

Adding to the impressiveness of the performance were the obstacles the Wildcats were forced to overcome to leave Columbia with a win. Jordan Jones, the Wildcats’ most valuable defensive player, was sidelined for the game with an injured shoulder. The Wildcats’ star running back, Benny Snell, played but was hampered from bruised ribs. Kentucky also had to battle from behind after South Carolina scored a 66-yard touchdown on its opening offensive play.

The Wildcats prevailed, however, and now return to Lexington to prepare for the Florida Gators this Saturday. Now at 3-0 on the season and garnering votes in the Top 25, the Big Blue Nation eagerly awaits the chance to end the Gators’ 30-plus year winning streak over the Wildcats.

The Cats enter the game as a four point underdog but with a massive amount of momentum from the South Carolina performance. The Gators, 1-1 on the season, enter the game riding high from a hail-mary victory over Tennessee last Saturday. Florida lost its opening game to Michigan and was forced to cancel their week two game against Northern Colorado due to Hurricane Irma.

If the Wildcats are able to pull off the upset, expect to see the Big Blue Nation in a football frenzy not seen in decades. Also expect to see the Wildcats in the Top 25 for the first time in almost ten years.

The Wildcats and the Gators will kick off from Kroger Field at 6:30 p.m. CST on Saturday evening. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Kentucky fan shot in South Carolina
Bourbon county resident, Denise Massey, was struck by a bullet late Friday evening in Columbia, SC. Massey and her boyfriend, Jimmy Brannon, were in Columbia to attend Kentucky’s football game against South Carolina.

In all, eight people were shot during the violence that erupted in Columbia’s Vista entertainment district. Massey remains in critical condition at a Columbia hospital. UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart visited Massey on Saturday prior to the game, and UK coach Mark Stoops opened his postgame press conference with well-wishes for the Kentucky fan.

Four people have been arrested and charged in connection with the shootings.

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