COLUMBIA, South Carolina (Ticker) -- South Carolina continues to make noise in the Southeastern Conference.
Derek Watson rushed for 135 yards on 16 carries as the 12th-ranked Gamecocks coasted to a 42-6 victory over Kentucky to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1988.
Phil Petty completed 10-of-16 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score, helping South Carolina up its SEC East mark to 4-0, the Gamecocks' best conference start ever.
With games against Arkansas and Vanderbilt to follow, the Gamecocks could be 7-0 entering a showdown with Tenneessee on October 27.
"Five wins, we need one more for our first goal, which is to have a winning season," South Carolina coach Lou Holtz said. " One more to be bowl eligible."
South Carolina won its first three SEC games by a combined eight points, including last week's 37-36 victory over Alabama, when it scored two touchdowns in the final 6 1/2 minutes.
"(It's) nice to win convincingly," Holtz said. "(We) had a chance to play a lot of people. We didn't turn the ball over."
Saturday's contest was never in doubt as the Gamecocks built a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.
Andrew Pinnock rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries for South Carolina, including a pair of one-yard TDs.
Pinnock's first TD started a stretch in which the Gamecocks erupted for 21 points in a 2:52 span late in the first quarter.
Petty scored on a 14-yard with 14 seconds left in the first quarter and following a fumble on the kickoff, tossed a 23-yard pass TD to Corey Alexander on the final play of the period to give South Carolina a 21-0 lead.
Holtz also pointed to the play of Watson, who was held to 140 yards combined in South Carolina's first four contests.
"Derek Watson ran well, proves how well elusive he can be," Holtz said. "He is a very good back, one of the best I have ever coached. But he plays well without the ball. We are going to need him to have games like that."
Kentucky (1-4, 0-3) avoided a shutout on Shane Boyd's 28-yard TD pass to Aaron Boone 4 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter. Boyd completed 20-of-36 for 188 yards and two interceptions while Artose Pinner rushed for 105 yards on 19 carries.
The Wildcats have allowed 128 points in their three SEC defeats this season.
"I think we didn't execute any of our offense or defense," Kentucky coach Guy Morriss said. "They out-coached us, they outplayed us. They did a great job preparing their kids to play. They played extremely well today. Coach Holtz did a great job."
Pinnock's second TD gave South Carolina a 28-0 halftime lead before Petty and Brian Scott connected for a 12-yard pass 12 seconds into the fourth quarter that made it 35-0.
"I said we had to win the third quarter," Holtz said. "Then I could drink a Coke and eat a hot dog in the fourth. It was nice, a good, productive performance."
South Carolina's Gavin Ford capped the scoring with a two-yard TD run with 6:23 to play.