KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
SITE: Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, S.C.
RANKINGS: Kentucky unranked; South Carolina No. 13
KEYS TO THE GAME
The season is one-third over and Kentucky still hasn't found a reliable starting quarterback.
Sophomores Maxwell Smith and Jalen Whitlow have been alternating and first-year coach Mark Stoops is becoming frustrated that neither player has stepped up to corral the starting position.
"We're in a little bit of a quandary right now with what to do," Stoops said. "I think we're going to try to give it to one person, give him the reps and see what he can do.
"I think we need to do that. It has not been clear-cut at this point. It would be reckless for us to name one guy at this point because nobody has taken the job. We're going to evaluate it this week and see where we're at."
The Wildcats (1-3, 0-1 SEC) visit No. 12 South Carolina this Saturday and will need to get something going on offense to avoid a third straight defeat.
Kentucky had just 173 yards in a 24-7 loss to Florida last week, and the touchdown came when kicker Joe Mansour ran 25 yards for a score on a fake field goal.
Smith was 12-of-20 for 90 yards with an interception against the Gators. Whitlow was 5-of-6 for 35 yards.
Smith has the reputation of being a better passer than Whitlow but is completing 57.9 percent of his throws to Whitlow's 66 percent. Smith has four touchdown passes and Whitlow, who is the superior rushing quarterback, has tossed just one.
"We will tailor our offense to do whatever we have to do to help us move the ball to win games," Stoops said. "We just need the best player to come forward and be consistent and give us a chance to win."
South Carolina could be without starting quarterback Connor Shaw and backup running back Brandon Wilds, who were both injured against UCF.
Shaw suffered a sprained shoulder early in the encounter and did not return. He was expected to miss two to three weeks, but coach Steve Spurrier said this week that he is going to be healthy enough to play and might even start.
If he doesn't, junior Dylan Thompson will get his third start as a collegian.
Spurrier kept the pressure off Thompson in the second half by almost exclusively keeping the football on the ground.
Sophomore tailback Mike Davis made that a smart move as he rushed for more than 150 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. That allowed Thompson time to ease into the game.
The defense was schizophrenic, playing solidly in a long period and then allowing two long pass plays that put Central Florida back into contention late, which angered Spurrier.
"I said we've got some issues that we haven't cleaned up yet, and we're going to try to clean them up. I'll be helping out with the secondary," Spurrier said. "I guess I haven't helped very well yet, so we're going to try to keep things in front of us, see if we can get guys to watch the quarterback, break on the ball and be a little smarter back there.
"But obviously we haven't got it corrected yet. But we'll keep working on it and fortunately we were able to win the game. Jimmy Legree and Victor (Hampton) made a couple of good plays to get picks, so we had some good plays. But we had some careless plays late in the game that almost cost us."
PLAYERS TO WATCH