Missouri / S. Carolina Preview

Don’t forget about the Indiana Mizzou Crew watch party for the game.

Courtesy Dan O’Brien

Scouting South Carolina’s next opponent: Missouri

BY ANDREW RAMSPACHER
aramspacher@thestate.com

Three storylines

1. The beginning of South Carolina’s new season starts with this game as any outside chance at an SEC East Division crown was likely dashed with the Kentucky loss. At 2-2, the Gamecocks, aside from hosting Tennessee on Oct. 27 and Chattanooga on Nov. 17, lack gimmies on the schedule moving forward. Can they match the nine wins from a year ago?

2. USC quarterback Jake Bentley is coming off his worst performance of the season, knee injury included. Coach Will Muschamp said in Lexington that he still expects Bentley to play against the Tigers. That’s a good thing because QBs have looked plenty healthy facing the Mizzou defense this season. The Tigers are allowing 294 passing yards a game, good for second-worst in the SEC.

3. But can the Gamecocks win a shootout? The average score of a Missouri game this season has been Tigers 40, Opponent 27. Mizzou QB Drew Lock is rising NFL Draft boards as he continues to pile big numbers. He’ll test a South Carolina defense that just struggled against UK running back Benny Snell, the SEC East’s other big offensive star.
Three Missouri players to watch
1. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock sits ninth nationally with 320.8 passing yards per game. A candidate to be the No. 1 pick in draft, Lock is 1-2 against the Gamecocks in his career with four touchdowns and four interceptions. Meanwhile, South Carolina’s secondary is thinning as safeties Jamyest Williams and J.T. Ibe went down with injuries at Kentucky.

2. When healthy, Mizzou receiver Emanuel Hall is as good a downfield threat as any in the SEC. The senior is second in the league in yards per catch — 23.9. A combination of a groin injury and Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker made Hall invisible against the Bulldogs in Missouri’s last game as he was held catch-less. Coming off a bye week, Hall should be itching for a bounce-back performance.

3. With Hall out, Lock still threw 48 times in the Georgia loss. His favorite target was tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. The All-SEC performer caught nine passes for 81 yards against the Bulldogs. He leads the Tigers with 23 grabs this season.

Gamecocks coming home as favorites against Missouri

BY BEN BREINER
bbreiner@thestate.com
September 30, 2018 04:27 PM

South Carolina football fans are understandably down on the Gamecocks coming off a 24-10 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington.

Las Vegas appears to have a little more faith in the Gamecocks.

USC opened as a 1 1/2-point favorite against Missouri and the line was bet up to two points on Sunday afternoon according to VegasInsider. This is a week after the the Gamecocks-Wildcats line swung back and forth all week.

The 1 1/2 point line in Williams-Brice Stadium means South Carolina would likely be an underdog on the road.

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