Last year after South Carolina lost its fourth straight game to Kentucky, I asked Will Muschamp if the defeat hurt just a bit more — because it was Kentucky, because his senior class would graduate without ever beating the Wildcats. His answer was simple, reiterating it was only one game, it did matter in the SEC East, but that is where it ended.
I respect the answer; I don’t fully believe it. Especially coming from a guy who played for Georgia and had assistant coaching stops at several schools across the SEC.
This is Kentucky. Will Muschamp was the head coach at Florida, compiling a 4-0 record against the Cats at the tail end of that 31 year streak where the Gators didn’t lose to Kentucky.
This is Kentucky. Good football teams aren’t supposed to lose to Kentucky.
This is Kentucky. One of two teams in the SEC East to never reach the SEC Championship game in football (Vanderbilt is the other).
I mean… this is Kentucky.
In 2017, South Carolina had no reason to think it would lose its fourth straight against Kentucky. It was a night game, a blackout at Williams Brice Stadium, the place was absolutely swaying at kickoff. “Sandstorm” was blaring and the Carolina crowd was on fire as Jake Bentley hit Deebo Samuel for a 68-yard catch and run for a touchdown.
Then, through a calamity of errors, it happened again. Four consecutive losses, in football, to Kentucky.
Despite the loss, South Carolina went on to win nine games finishing 5-3 in SEC play. It was a huge accomplishment in Year 2 for Muschamp considering how bad this team was in the 3-9 campaign before he took over.
This season, things are different.
South Carolina had national buzz coming into 2018, the Gamecocks were a trendy pick to challenge Georgia in the SEC East, maybe even upset the Dawgs in Week 2 at home in Columbia. Not only did that not happen, the Dawgs downright dominated the second half, leaving South Carolina with a loss in the SEC opener.
Cocky is 2-1. A loss to the Cats, South Carolina is suddenly 2-2 overall and two games back in the SEC East.
An improved Missouri team comes to South Carolina next week. With the talent the Tigers have on offense behind quarterback Drew Lock, that’s not a lock for a win either. The week after that, Texas A&M comes calling, with its shiny new national championship winning coach Jimbo Fisher.
© 2016, gridironnow.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.