Oct. 7, 2006
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -Quarterback Syvelle Newton ran for one touchdown and caught another as South Carolina defeated Kentucky 24-17 Saturday to make Gamecocks coach Steve Spurrier 14-0 against the Wildcats.
South Carolina (4-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) has now won seven straight against Kentucky, the last two under Spurrier. His previous 12 victories over the Wildcats (3-3, 1-2) came at Florida.
Newton, who became the starter last month and threw for five touchdowns Sept. 23 against Florida Atlantic, used his other skills to win this one.
With the Gamecocks already ahead by seven points late in the fourth quarter, Spurrier called a reverse and sent Newton sprinting to the end zone. The 22-yard pass from receiver Kenny McKinley was right on target.
It had appeared early that the versatile quarterback would have a long day throwing the ball. Newton led the Gamecocks to the Kentucky 8 on their opening drive, but his third-down toss was picked off at the goal line by a diving Shomari Moore.
Newton was more effective when faced with another third-and-goal opportunity on South Carolina’s next possession. He danced into the end zone for a 7-yard score to cap off a drive that saw him compile four plays of at least 12 yards – two from the air, two more from the ground.
South Carolina stretched the lead to 10-0 late in the first half with a 42-yard field goal by Ryan Succop. Newton’s 44-yard bomb to a wide-open McKinley put the Gamecocks in position.
Newton, who hadn’t started a game at quarterback since 2004 before being inserted into the starting lineup against Wofford, completed 14 of 22 passes for 171 yards. He ran for 77 yards.
Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson, who came into the game tied for second in the nation with 14 touchdown passes, got one – a 9-yard pass to Dicky Lyons Jr. late in the fourth quarter. Lyons’ touchdown, his seventh of the year, immediately followed a 63-yard catch.
Lyons’ touchdown made the score 24-17 with three minutes left, but Lones Seiber’s onside kick attempt went out of bounds. South Carolina ran down the clock, giving it back to the Wildcats with 22 seconds left.
Woodson found Keenan Burton for a 38-yard gain to move Kentucky to the South Carolina 42, but his Hail Mary attempt fell incomplete into the end zone as time expired.
Woodson also threw a costly third-quarter interception that set up a second Gamecocks touchdown – a 5-yard run by Cory Boyd, who had 25 carries for 113 yards.
With the South Carolina defense playing stingy, the Wildcats used some trickery to get their first points midway through the third quarter.
First, punter Tim Mastay ran for 17 yards on a fake. Then, with the Wildcats on the 1-yard line, Rafael Little dived over the top of the pile and appeared to score, except he didn’t have the ball. Woodson did, and he galloped untouched into the corner of the end zone.
The Wildcats received short punts on each of their next two possessions but could only manage a 31-yard field goal by Seiber, which cut the Gamecocks lead to 17-10. Seiber would miss another one from 45 yards.