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No. 17 Kentucky tops South Carolina 24-10 to remain unbeaten

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) For one half, No. 17 Kentucky's offense showed the intensity that helped earn its first Top 25 in nearly 11 years. When things sputtered afterward against South Carolina, the Wildcats' defense rose to the challenge with clutch plays to ensure their new-found status ended on a high note.

Their strong start was certainly critical, too.

Benny Snell Jr. ran for 99 yards and one of Kentucky's three consecutive first-half touchdowns and the Wildcats held on for a 24-10 victory over South Carolina on Saturday night.

Kentucky (5-0, 3-0 Southeastern Conference) quashed initial concerns about a letdown following their first ranking since November 2007 by scoring on four straight drives to lead 24-3 at halftime. The Wildcats ended up needing that cushion to offset a scoreless second half and Jake Bentley's 58-yard, third quarter TD pass to Deebo Samuel that kept the Gamecocks (2-2, 1-2) within striking distance.

Mike Edwards' interception with 3:47 remaining snuffed one chance by the Gamecocks before they turned the ball over on downs in the final minute. Those defensive stands sealed Kentucky's fifth consecutive series win and continued its best SEC start since 1977.

''We could have finished that a little better,'' Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. ''We shot ourselves in the foot and got a little reckless with some penalties and just a little bit of sloppy play, or we'd really have a chance to put that away much earlier than we did.

''I loved the way our team started; we knew we had to start fast. We gave up the one (TD) off a scramble and just a misjudged ball, we really had an opportunity to intercept it. ... But outside of that, I thought our defense did an exceptional job limiting big plays.''

The Wildcats registered four turnovers, including interceptions by Derrick Baity, Darius West and Edwards. They scored 10 points off a fumble and interception before West and Edwards picked off Bentley and preserved a second consecutive SEC win by double digits.

And it's still a work in progress.

''You guys still haven't seen our best yet,'' said linebacker Jordan Jones, whose forced fumble and recovery at the South Carolina 7 set up Miles Butler's field goal. ''You have seen some good parts of us but there are still a lot of things we're going to go over on film and get cleaned up. It's going to make us even better.''

Snell's rushing yardage on 28 carries also made him the third Wildcat to break 3,000 in a career. His 4-yard score with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter extended his TD record to 40. Quarterback Terry Wilson and A.J. Rose ran for TDs from 1 and 24 yards as Kentucky edged South Carolina 327-321 in yardage.

''We're going to watch the film and be extremely disappointed with a lot of self-inflicted issues,'' South Carolina coach Will Muschamp said. ''Give Kentucky credit, they're a good football team. But we hurt ourselves.''

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Kentucky's first Top 25 presence in 11 years will last another week.

FLAG DAY

Both teams were penalized 11 times in a sometimes-chippy game. Kentucky was hit for 115 yards, South Carolina 94. Wildcats linebacker Kash Daniel was ejected in the third quarter for targeting while blocking on West's interception.

HOT TICKET

After averaging just under 50,000 for previous home games against Central Michigan and FCS Murray State, Kentucky has attracted consecutive crowds of at least 60,000, including Saturday's night sellout of 63,081.

THE TAKEAWAY

South Carolina: The Gamecocks' passing game cranked up after halftime and they were within two possessions midway in the fourth quarter. But their attempt to catch-up through the air also resulted in costly interceptions by Bentley (13 of 28 passing, 148 yards), including one in the end zone.

''There's a lot of play I could've done better,'' Bentley said. ''I don't know what it was. I've just got to play better.''

Kentucky: The Wildcats seemed headed toward a second consecutive SEC rout at the break by dominating the Gamecocks on both sides of the ball. A scoreless second half opened the door for South Carolina, but the defense came up with two timely turnovers to preserve the lead. That was enough to offset the TD that marked the first points they've allowed in the third quarter this season.

UP NEXT

South Carolina hosts Missouri on Saturday to open a three-game homestand.

Kentucky visits Texas A&M on Saturday in its first SEC meeting with the Aggies.

---

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Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 7:37
43-P.White extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
24
Touchdown 7:50
19-J.Bentley complete to 1-D.Samuel. 1-D.Samuel runs 58 yards for a touchdown.
5
plays
80
yds
01:38
pos
9
24
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:53
95-M.Butler extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
24
Touchdown 4:53
26-B.Snell runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
66
yds
03:40
pos
3
23
Point After TD 9:15
95-M.Butler extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
17
Touchdown 9:25
10-A.Rose runs 24 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
80
yds
03:20
pos
3
16
Point After TD 14:21
95-M.Butler extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
3
10
Touchdown 14:21
3-T.Wilson runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
13
plays
65
yds
04:40
pos
3
9
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 5:52
43-P.White 29 yards Field Goal is Good.
15
plays
43
yds
04:20
pos
3
3
Field Goal 10:51
95-M.Butler 29 yards Field Goal is Good.
5
plays
6
yds
01:21
pos
0
3
Team Stats
1st Downs 20 19
Rushing 11 11
Passing 8 7
Penalty 1 1
3rd Down Conv 5-15 4-12
4th Down Conv 2-3 1-1
Total Net Yards 294 327
Total Plays 69 66
Avg Gain 4.3 5.0
Net Yards Rushing 128 195
Rush Attempts 35 46
Avg Rush Yards 3.7 4.2
Net Yards Passing 166 132
Comp. - Att. 17-34 13-20
Yards Per Pass 4.9 6.6
Sacked - Yards Lost 4-27 0-0
Penalties - Yards 11-94 11-115
Touchdowns 1 3
Rushing TDs 0 3
Passing TDs 1 0
Other 0 0
Turnovers 4 1
Fumbles - Lost 3-1 0-0
Int. Thrown 3 1
Punts - Avg 3-51.7 4-47.5
Return Yards 46 76
Punts - Returns 2-19 1-7
Kickoffs - Returns 2-27 1-42
Int. - Returns 1-0 3-27
Kicking 2/3 4/5
Extra Points 1/1 3/3
Field Goals 1/2 1/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
South Carolina 2-2 307010
17 Kentucky 5-0 3210024
166 PASS YDS 132
128 RUSH YDS 195
294 TOTAL YDS 327
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Bentley 19 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
46.4% 148 1 3 81.2
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
63.6% 928 7 6 131.1
J. Bentley 13/28 148 1 3
M. Scarnecchia 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66.7% 45 0 0 129.7
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
58.3% 89 1 0 148.1
M. Scarnecchia 4/6 45 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
R. Dowdle 5 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
13 44 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
55 279 2
R. Dowdle 13 44 0 17
J. Bentley 19 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 37 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
25 91 0
J. Bentley 8 37 0 20
A. Turner 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 33 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
17 124 0
A. Turner 5 33 0 19
M. Denson 34 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 32 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 36 1
M. Denson 7 32 0 8
M. Scarnecchia 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 -18 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 -18 0
M. Scarnecchia 2 -18 0 -6
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Samuel 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 61 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
22 206 2
D. Samuel 2 61 1 58
S. Smith 13 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 40 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
15 231 1
S. Smith 4 40 0 13
R. Dowdle 5 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 96 1
R. Dowdle 2 29 0 20
B. Edwards 89 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 25 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 236 3
B. Edwards 3 25 0 11
J. Vann 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 20 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 59 0
J. Vann 2 20 0 13
A. Turner 25 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 12 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 16 0
A. Turner 2 12 0 9
K. Pollard 87 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 35 1
K. Pollard 2 6 0 4
C. Dawkins 83 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
C. Dawkins 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
S. Montac 22 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
S. Montac 8-0 0.0 0
B. Allen-Williams 4 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
B. Allen-Williams 6-0 0.0 0
A. Sterling 15 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
A. Sterling 6-0 0.0 0
K. Thomas 5 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
K. Thomas 5-0 0.0 0
T. Brunson 6 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-3 0 0.0
T. Brunson 5-3 0.0 0
K. Nixon 9 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
K. Nixon 5-1 0.0 0
J. Horn 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
J. Horn 3-0 0.0 0
J. Kinlaw 3 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
J. Kinlaw 3-1 0.0 0
S. Greene 44 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
S. Greene 2-2 0.0 0
K. Smith 95 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
K. Smith 2-1 0.0 0
R. Fenton 16 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 3 0.0
R. Fenton 2-0 0.0 1
N. Harvey 1 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
N. Harvey 1-0 0.0 0
J. Charleston 17 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Charleston 1-0 0.0 0
D. Fennell 35 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
D. Fennell 1-2 0.0 0
J. Ibe 29 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Ibe 1-0 0.0 0
K. Enagbare 52 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
K. Enagbare 0-1 0.0 0
C. Kinlaw 32 RB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
C. Kinlaw 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
P. White 43 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 1/1
SEASON FG XP
5/6 14/14
P. White 1/2 29 1/1 4
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Charlton 20 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 51.7 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
12 44.2 0
J. Charlton 3 51.7 0 66
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Samuel 1 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 16.0 16 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
4 23.8 16 0
D. Samuel 1 16.0 16 0
K. Nixon 9 DB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 11.0 11 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 11.0 11 0
K. Nixon 1 11.0 11 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
B. Edwards 89 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 9.5 21 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
4 6.8 21 0
B. Edwards 2 9.5 21 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
T. Wilson 3 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
65% 132 0 1 110.4
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
66.7% 595 2 5 116.8
T. Wilson 13/20 132 0 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
B. Snell 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
28 99 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
115 639 8
B. Snell 28 99 1 16
T. Wilson 3 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 59 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
52 300 3
T. Wilson 9 59 1 16
A. Rose 10 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 38 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
33 231 4
A. Rose 7 38 1 24
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
C. Conrad 87 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 31 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
13 89 0
C. Conrad 3 31 0 17
D. Baker 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 98 0
D. Baker 2 29 0 20
D. Bouvier 33 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 21 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 112 2
D. Bouvier 1 21 0 21
L. Bowden 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
24 218 1
L. Bowden 4 18 0 11
B. Snell 26 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 14 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 29 0
B. Snell 1 14 0 14
I. Epps 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 19 0
I. Epps 1 11 0 11
J. Ali 82 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 29 0
J. Ali 1 8 0 8
T. Richardson 11 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 23 0
T. Richardson 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
J. Allen 41 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 3.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 0 3.0
J. Allen 7-1 3.0 0
D. West 25 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 2 0.0
D. West 7-1 0.0 1
M. Edwards 7 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
M. Edwards 6-0 0.0 1
J. Jones 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
J. Jones 4-1 0.0 0
Ka. Daniel 56 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
Ka. Daniel 4-1 0.0 0
C. Oats 22 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
C. Oats 3-1 0.0 0
L. Johnson 6 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
L. Johnson 3-0 0.0 0
P. Hoskins 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
P. Hoskins 2-1 0.0 0
C. Taylor 91 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
C. Taylor 2-0 0.0 0
C. Westry 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Westry 1-0 0.0 0
J. Watson 31 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 1.0
J. Watson 1-1 1.0 0
Q. Bohanna 95 NT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
Q. Bohanna 1-0 0.0 0
D. Baity 8 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-2 1 0.0
D. Baity 1-2 0.0 1
K. Looney 59 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
K. Looney 1-0 0.0 0
T. Ajian 23 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 0.0
T. Ajian 1-0 0.0 0
J. Griffin 3 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. Griffin 1-0 0.0 0
D. Square 43 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Square 1-0 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Butler 95 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 3/3
SEASON FG XP
3/5 21/21
M. Butler 1/2 29 3/3 6
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
M. Duffy 93 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 47.5 4
SEASON NO AVG IN20
18 45.7 4
M. Duffy 4 47.5 4 52
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
L. Bowden 1 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 42.0 42 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
11 20.2 42 0
L. Bowden 1 42.0 42 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
D. Bouvier 33 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 7.0 7 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 8.3 7 0
D. Bouvier 1 7.0 7 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 UK 35 0:48 4 -9 Punt
12:23 SC 17 0:11 2 -5 Fumble
10:12 UK 35 4:20 15 72 FG
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:21 UK 50 0:50 4 -16 Punt
9:15 UK 35 0:07 4 4 INT
4:53 UK 20 1:47 8 59 FG Miss
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
9:28 SC 25 1:38 5 75 TD
5:18 SC 19 1:15 5 16 INT
2:01 SC 4 1:36 3 0 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:38 SC 9 7:31 22 71 INT
2:16 SC 17 1:14 8 51 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:06 UK 25 1:10 3 5 Punt
12:12 SC 7 1:21 5 -4 FG
5:12 SC 35 4:40 13 75 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:45 UK 20 3:20 7 80 TD
8:33 UK 39 3:40 8 61 TD
2:59 UK 21 2:21 8 20 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:17 SC 35 0:00 13 40 FG Miss
7:37 SC 35 1:40 5 2 Punt
3:23 UK 48 1:15 3 4 Punt
0:19 SC 37 0:12 9 -13 INT
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
4:07 UK 28 1:48 3 3 Punt
0:56 SC 44 0:09 2 -1