With another Kentucky Wildcats football season upon us, the staff at Wildcat Blue Nation are digging into th..."/> With another Kentucky Wildcats football season upon us, the staff at Wildcat Blue Nation are digging into th..."/>

21 Days to Kickoff: Upset of South Carolina


With another Kentucky Wildcats football season upon us, the staff at Wildcat Blue Nation are digging into their memory banks recounting our favorite moments in Wildcat football. Over the next month, we will be looking at these games and sharing our thoughts and memories on them. It’s not a countdown, but a look back at what has made Wildcats football important to us and what stood out. Hopefully Mark Stoops and his staff will be able to add a few more special moments this upcoming season.

In recent history, it seems like the University of Kentucky football program is always good for at least one upset each season (or at least coming close to completing an upset).  UK’s upset over South Carolina in 2010 is one of the best in the last few years.

The date was October 16, 2010.  The location was Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington, Kentucky.  South Carolina entered Wildcat Country as the No. 10 team in the nation and looking like a premier team.  They had defeated No. 1 Alabama the previous week and seemed poised to steamroll Kentucky.

Although we have all seen UK struggle against top SEC teams and lose by large margins, we have also seen the flip side.  We have seen that UK doesn’t just give up and that they are capable of anything.

The Gamecocks took it right to the Wildcats from the start of the game.  They scored on their opening drive as freshman running back Marcus Lattimore gashed the Kentucky defense with a 30-yard rushing touchdown.  UK was unable to respond with a score of their own and South Carolina took advantage.  The Gamecocks repeated the results of their first drive with a three-yard touchdown pass from Stephen Garcia to Alshon Jeffery.  Putting South Carolina up 14-0.

Kentucky was able to squeak out of the first quarter without allowing any more damage to be done.  Then, UK began to show some life as they opened the second quarter with a scoring drive.  Mike Hartline threw a 10-yard pass to La’Rod King for a touchdown.  However, South Carolina widened the margin back to 14 with another Lattimore rushing touchdown.  UK was able to respond with a field goal and keep their hopes alive.  South Carolina delivered a devastating blow just before halftime, though.  Garcia connected with Lattimore for a 47-yard passing touchdown.  The score at halftime was 28-10.

It seemed there was no way back for our beloved Wildcats.  South Carolina was certainly looking like the No. 10 team in the nation.  It appeared that there was no stopping Lattimore and climbing back into this one.  It would surely be a rout.

But, as our boys in blue sometimes do, they delivered us a gift.  UK went on a long scoring drive in the third quarter that ended with a five-yard touchdown pass from Hartline to King.  Stunningly, UK was also able to hold South Carolina scoreless in the third quarter.  The Wildcats entered the fourth quarter with a glimmer of hope with the score 28-17.

Kentucky began the fourth quarter with possession and yielded an amazing result.  Hartline connected with Chris Matthews for a 38-yard touchdown.  UK attempted a two-point conversion, but failed.  The score was now 28-23.  UK’s defense was able to rise to the occasion again as they prevented South Carolina from scoring on the next drive.  The minutes continued to tick away in the fourth quarter.

Then, UK struck gold again.  Hartline threw another touchdown pass.  This time to Randall Cobb for 24 yards.  This made the score 29-28.  UK was forced to go for the two-point conversion to try and make it a three-point game.  They decided to put the ball in Cobb’s hands.  As he was able to so many times during his career at UK, he delivered.  The Wildcats now had the lead for the first time in the game with a score of 31-28.

Kentucky was able to hold off the South Carolina offense for the last couple minutes of the game and come away with a miraculous victory.  This was truly an incredible win and was an amazing sight for UK fans.  It was a team victory all the way around.  The offense exploded with points and the defense was stifling.  Upsets like this are what UK fans and all of college football will remember forever.