If Kentucky wants to avoid a third-straight loss both in this season and in the series against South Carolina, it's going to have to reverse some bad offensive trends -- the Wildcats have scored a combined 20 points in their last two games. And the team's lone points last week came on a fake field goal.
Their fortunes are not likely to change dramatically against South Carolina, even if the Gamecocks' defense has shown signs of vulnerability this season. The Gamecocks, like most of UK's conference foes, have a significant advantage in talent, and that's obviously a difficult thing to overcome.
This is the beginning of a very manageable stretch for South Carolina, which could put together a lengthy winning streak.
Rankings and records: South Carolina is 3-1 (1-1), ranked 12th in the AP Poll and 13th in the Coaches' Poll. The unranked Wildcats are 1-3 (0-1). The Gamecocks hold a 16-7-1 edge in the all-time series, and they've won two in a row over UK.
Vegas: South Carolina opened as a 21-point favorite.
Weather: The high is expected to hit 90, and there is no chance of rain.
Three names to know
Connor Shaw -- Shaw was originally ruled out for two or three weeks after suffering a shoulder injury against UCF last Saturday, but he is now expected to get the start. His efforts under the circumstances are worth watching, and if he ends up limited, Dylan Thompson is the next man in line. Fortunately for South Carolina, it most likely will get by with Shaw at less than 100 percent against Kentucky.
Mike Davis -- Man, he is having himself a year. He already has 508 rushing yards, which ranks 13th nationally and second in the SEC. He's also averaging more than seven yards per carry.
Avery Williamson -- The Kentucky linebacker leads the SEC in tackles with 42 and he'll need to be big against the Gamecocks.
Two things at stake
The Gamecocks already have a conference loss, and their primary competitors in the East -- Georgia and Florida -- are off to 2-0 starts. A second loss might dash whatever hopes the Gamecocks have of making it to the SEC title game this season.
The goals are small for Kentucky at this juncture given the long road ahead of the program. The Wildcats are in the midst of an unforgiving stretch that includes a game against Alabama on Oct. 12, and winning any of these contests isn't particularly realistic. Any upset is gravy, but the focus has to be more along the lines of simply running Mark Stoops' system more effectively.
How to witness
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET (FSN)