South Carolina 12, Kentucky 7

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Fourth-string quarterback Michael Rathe

threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Troy Williamson with 1:28 left,

lifting South Carolina to a 12-7 win over Kentucky on Saturday


South Carolina, in the Top 25 a week ago, narrowly avoided its

second straight loss. The Gamecocks (5-2, 3-2 Southeastern

Conference) fell to Mississippi last Saturday.

South Carolina committed five turnovers, one more than Kentucky

(1-5, 0-3 SEC). The Wildcats have lost four straight.

Rathe, a senior who had appeared in only two games this season

and completed only one pass, entered with 6:29 left and the

Gamecocks trailing 7-6. He was 5-of-7 for 57 yards on the 88-yard

drive, and received two breaks on the incompletions, as Kentucky's

Vincent Burns and Mike Williams each dropped potential


On the touchdown pass -- his first in two seasons at South

Carolina -- Rathe rolled to his right and lobbed the football to

Williamson to the back corner of the end zone. Williamson leaped to

make the catch and barely got both feet down inbounds.

Kentucky quarterback Shane Boyd threw four incompletions on the

Wildcats' final possession.

Kentucky's 23-play touchdown drive consumed 11 minutes, 54

seconds and came after South Carolina punter Josh Brown pinned the

Wildcats at their own 6. On the drive, Kentucky converted six times

on third down and had only three plays of 10 yards or more.

The Wildcats avoided disaster when Gerad Parker recovered a

fumble by tailback Tony Dixon at the South Carolina 37 on the first

play of the fourth quarter.

Alexis Bwenge scored on a 2-yard run with 9:52 left, and Taylor

Begley's extra point put Kentucky ahead 7-6.

Kentucky took over at the South Carolina 40 after an

interception by freshman Marcus McClinton, but couldn't manage a

first down and punted. South Carolina then drove for its only


South Carolina emerged from an error-filled first half -- the

teams combined for six turnovers -- with a 6-0 lead thanks to two

second-quarter field goals by Brown.

Kentucky reached the South Carolina 31 late in the first

quarter, but Boyd threw incomplete on third-and-1 and Begley was

well short on a 49-yard field-goal attempt.

Brown's first field goal, a career-high 43-yarder, came one play

after the Gamecocks -- already without starting quarterback Dondrial

Pinkins, who has missed two games with a shoulder injury -- lost his

replacement, Syvelle Newton, when Newton sprained his left ankle

while being sacked.

Blake Mitchell relieved Newton and played until Rathe entered

the game for the Gamecocks' touchdown drive.

Boyd lost two fumbles in the half; the second, at the Kentucky

35, led to a 20-yard field goal by Brown.