The Matchup: South Carolina (3-2, 2-2) at Kentucky (3-1, 1-1)
The Venue: Commonwealth Stadium
The Kick: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Series record: South Carolina leads the all-time series with a record of 17-7-1.

Last meeting: Kentucky gave the Gamecocks its best shot in a tough road environment in Columbia but South Carolina hung on to secure a 35-28 victory. South Carolina built a 24-7 halftime lead before Kentucky scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to nearly upset the then-No. 13 Gamecocks.

Coaches: Steve Spurrier (222-81-2) vs. Mark Stoops (5-10)

Last game (Kentucky): The Wildcats’ defense dominated Vanderbilt in a 17-7 victory in Lexington, cementing the program’s first SEC victory since 2011. Kentucky held Vandy to eight first downs and less than 140 yards of total offense for the game, and held a commanding 17-minute time of possession advantage on the afternoon. The Commodores’ only points came on a pick-six by Darrius Sims from UK’s Patrick Towles, who also threw for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown in the win.

Last game (South Carolina): South Carolina led Missouri for most of the game, but allowed the Tigers to score two late touchdowns to steal a 21-20 victory in Columbia. It was the Gamecocks second home loss of the season, and it came in a game involving 19 punts between the two teams. South Carolina is now 1-2 in the SEC and sitting near the bottom of the SEC East standings.

Kentucky wins if: The Wildcats can establish a consistent pass rush against South Carolina quarterback Dylan Thompson. Thompson is highly immobile, especially compared to former Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw, and he does not excel at escaping athletic pass rushers. Kentucky’s Bud Dupree recorded his first sack of the year last week, and he could carry that momentum into Saturday’s contest.

South Carolina wins if: It can remain focused after last week’s disappointing loss. If South Carolina still appears shaken by the loss, Kentucky will take advantage. If the Gamecocks try to force the issue to make up for the loss, they could make enough mistakes to give Kentucky the game. South Carolina must simply remain poised and execute its gameplan, and it should be fine against an emerging yet incomplete Kentucky team.

What it means if Kentucky wins: A Kentucky victory would put it in serious contention for the SEC East crown as the Cats near the midway point of their season. UK would move to 2-1 in the SEC with a victory, and a loss would drop South Carolina to 1-3 in the conference, giving Kentucky a huge edge in the East standings against the division’s preseason favorite. A second straight SEC win would also be a huge step forward in Kentucky’s mission to legitimize itself in the SEC, which could do wonders for recruiting going forward.

What it means if South Carolina wins: A win would mean South Carolina has righted its ship, for one week at least, and a 2-2 record in the SEC would still keep South Carolina in the hunt for an East crown, which is a testament to how weak the East is this year. The Gamecocks won’t gain much from a win, but they could fall apart if they lose.