Game Time: 4 p.m. ET
TV: SEC Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Odds: South Carolina opened as a 5-point favorite. The line leapt up to 6, 6.5 and 7 points in other locations.
Mizzou and South Carolina find themselves to be two teams currently headed in opposite directions. The Gamecocks are winners of their last two including a big win over Tennessee last week in Columbia, while Mizzou has yet to win an SEC game in over a year and suffered their fourth loss in a row the last time they saw the field in a matchup against Kentucky.
Needless to say, desperate times call for desperate measures and Mizzou is a desperate team desperately seeking a win. The Gamecocks, suddenly surging and primed to possibly make a bowl game this year, likely won’t go down easily in the latest edition of the battle of Columbias on Saturday afternoon.
3 things to watch:
1. Has the solution for South Carolina’s QB dilemma been found?: The Gamecocks have been powered by the play of Jake Bentley of late and it’s paid dividends. In his last two games under center, Bentley has converted on 32 of his 46 passes, amassed 368 yards through the air with four touchdowns and zero picks. Suffice it to say, those are darn good numbers, and they have resulted in two consecutive victories. Bentley will have his chance again to pluck at a porous Missouri defense that is now without Terry Beckner Jr. and Michael Scherer, so it’s possible that the Gamecocks may’ve found their answer at QB if all goes well.
2. Does Damarea Crockett bounce back?: Prior to the matchup against Kentucky, Damarea Crockett had been one of the hottest runners in the SEC. Crockett had piled up 115+ yards in three of the four contests before last week, including a 156-yard outing against Middle Tennessee. Crockett was held relatively in check but will have a shot to get back on track this week. South Carolina’s rushing defense is good, not great, ranking 67th in S&P+ and a paltry 97th in Rushing Success Rate. If all goes well, chances are we’ll see the youngster Crockett get right back on track.
3. Will Mizzou stop the bleeding and go full circle?: Mizzou’s last win in the SEC came against... you guessed it: South Carolina last October. Since then the Tigers have put up a goose egg in the win column against their conference peers. Clotting that wound is priority number one in this matchup and they’ll need to if they want to attempt to salvage this season because it won’t get much easier going forward. This is, arguably, their most winnable SEC game going forward, so they’ve got the chance in front of them. Whether they seize it is left to be seen.