Missouri vs. South Carolina Prediction, Game Preview

    Missouri vs. South Carolina prediction and game preview. The Tigers look to improve to 4-1 as they host the 2-2 Gamecocks in this SEC East matchup.

    September 28, 2015

    These two have only played five times, but they’ve made some of the recent ones count. Missouri (3-1) came up with a 21-20 thriller last year, while South Carolina (2-2) pulled off a 27-24 miracle in 2013. This time around, both teams are desperate for something positive with two punchless offenses trying to keep their teams from being all but eliminated in the SEC title chase. Check out the Missouri vs. South Carolina prediction and game preview.

    Missouri vs. South Carolina Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Oct. 3
    Game Time: 12:00 pm
    Venue: Memorial Stadium at Faurot Field, Columbia, Missouri
    Network: SEC Network

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    Why You Need To Care

    Missouri has hardly looked or played like the two-time defending SEC East champ. The offense hasn’t gone anywhere, scores have been tough to come by, and there’s just no pop compared to past seasons. Now, after losing to Kentucky last week, there’s no margin for error this week considering there are still three road games to go along with dates in Columbia against Florida, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Considering South Carolina’s issues, if the Tigers can’t pull this off, it’s uh-oh time.

    The Gamecocks started out the season with a tough but strange win over North Carolina, and it took way too much of a fight last week to get by a bad UCF team. Like Mizzou, the Gamecocks also lost to Kentucky, but they also got blasted by Georgia, too, meaning it’s going to take a major miracle to get into the East race. Next week is LSU, and there’s still Texas A&M and Tennessee to play on the road, but this is the one the team needs to have to finally kickstart the season – maybe.

    Why South Carolina Will Win

    What happened to the Missouri running game? It used to be dangerous, consistent, and explosive with big-time runners blowing out huge yards in chunks behind a terrific O line, but now it’s barely averaging three yards per pop, has just one score, and topped out against Arkansas State with just 140 yards. Run defense has been a particular problem for South Carolina so far, giving up over 200 yards in each of its first three games, but that’s not an issue this week. The Gamecocks are playing an offense their own size.

    Why Missouri Will Win

    What happened to the South Carolina passing game? No one was expecting fireworks, and the loss to starting quarterback Connor Mitch didn’t help, but this was at least supposed to be an effective attack able to push the ball down the field with a solid group of receivers to work with. Instead, USC has only hit more than 48% of its passes in one game – the loss to Kentucky – and it’s been wildly inconsistent. Last week against UK was the first time the Tiger secondary struggled, but for the most part, it’s been a rock. South Carolina won’t be able to throw.

    Player Who Matters

    And now the Drew Lock era might officially begin for real. With Missouri starting quarterback Maty Mauk suspended for violating team rules, Lock is going to get his chance without having to look over his shoulder. Mauk was ineffective and painfully inconsistent for a veteran leader, but Lock has the talent and the upside to be the next big thing Mizzou quarterback once he gets some reps. The fans have been waiting to see more of the 6-4, 205-pound freshman, and now they’ll get their shot.

    On the other side, freshman Lorenzo Nunez has been getting his chances for South Carolina, and he wasn’t bad against UCF completing 12-of-22 passes for 184 yards and two scores, with 123 rushing yards to go along with it. He’s big, mobile, and has the upside to potentially grow into what the program needs – if he’s able to get through the rookie mistakes. The Gamecocks need some kind of spark, and now the hope has to be that he’s it.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    These two are about in the exact same spot overall. South Carolina’s O has been a wee bit better, but Mizzou’s D has been a whole bunch stronger. That’s going to be the difference as both teams struggle to move the ball, but the Tiger defense will take over in the second half as Lock settles into the position.

    Missouri vs. South Carolina Prediction

    Final Score: Missouri 24, South Carolina 20, Line: Missouri -3.5, o/u: 42.5

    Must See Rating: 5: Steve Jobs – 1: Dr. Ken … 3

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 4

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