SC 31, Mizzou 13: Key moments, players and grades

by Steven Clarke September 10, 2017, 9:15
SC 31, Mizzou 13: Key moments, players and grades

The Gamecocks held Missouri's offense in check one week after the Tigers broke multiple school records in a 72-43 victory over FCS opponent Missouri State. Brunson, hauled in a Drew Lock pass and outran his pursuers.

The loss pushed Missouri (1-1, 0-1 SEC) to the bottom of the SEC East standings where it will stay for at least two weeks. Missouri opened the season last week against visiting Missouri State and, after playing SC, hosts Purdue and Auburn before an open date.

The key: Lock went 4 of 9 for 95 yards in the quarter, marking the second quarter he misfired on more passes than he connected on. In the receiving end, Deebo Samuel posted 83 yards and two touchdowns in five receptions while Bryan Edwards added 55 yard in five receptions. Lock's receivers, almost flawless in the opener, dropped four passes, including a would-be touchdown by Johnathon Johnson in the final minutes.

The Tigers' defense actually made some improvements after an embarrassing performance in the season opener against Missouri State, but SC still beat Missouri in every facet of the game Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. The win improves the Gamecocks to 2-0 and the Tigers fall to 1-1.

DOWDLE TIME: After facing N.C. State's swarming run defense last week, SC running back Rico Dowdle will have an opportunity to rebound against Missouri.

The Gamecocks boast their own rising star at quarterback in Jake Bentley.

Missouri: Running back Damarea Crockett was having a big night until he jogged off the field with an injury in the third quarter and did not return.

MU's momentum was fleeting. Samuel returned the game's opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and snagged a one-handed touchdown.

When Missouri quarterback Drew Lock last played SC at home, he looked far different than he does now. The Tigers don't play their first road game until October 7, when they visit Kentucky. Senior tight end Jason Reese, who turned 22 on Saturday, hauled in two passes for a game-high 88 yards with a 61-yard touchdown. A fumbled punt. A blocked field goal and several other miscues.

4 Consecutive seasons have featured a 1-1 record for SC, which defeated North Carolina State 35-28 to open the 2017 season last week.

SC ran the ball 24 times in the second half for 121 yards (five yards per carry), including a Hurst two-yard run with just about 10 minutes remaining in the game. It was his first career made field goal after he missed a 33-yarder in the first quarter.

More Mizzou special teams misplays contributed to South Carolina's next score.

Offensively, South Carolina football averages 35.0 points and 246.0 total yards, 215.0 in passing and 31.0 in rushing per game. The visitors punched in a touchdown on a handoff to Hurst, a 2-yard score through a path of disinterested Tiger tacklers.

For the second time in three games, sophomore linebacker Cale Garrett has recorded ten tackles.

He settled into more of a rhythm later, but still only managed to complete 18 of 28 passes for only 6.7 yards per attempt.

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