South Carolina is now one game away from being bowl eligible following their 31-21 victory over the Missouri Tigers on Saturday afternoon. The Gamecocks played host to the visiting Tigers and in this ‘Battle of Columbias,’ it was “Columbia East” who would go on to celebrate the win as the Gamecocks improve to 5-4 while Missouri drops to 2-7.
The Tigers, who are now 0-5 this season in SEC play, couldn’t find much luck anywhere. Although Drew Lock threw for 302 yards on the day, he completed merely 23 of his 40 pass attempts with two interceptions and a touchdown.
Mizzou has now lost their last 11 conference games dating back to last year’s win against, you guessed it: South Carolina, as the Tigers failed to go full circle on Saturday afternoon.
3 things we learned
1. Jake Bentley continues to prove himself: As written in the preview, it has appeared that South Carolina may have figured things out at the QB position with the recent play of Jake Bentley. Bentley added to that discussion with a dazzling performance on Saturday evening. He went 22-for-28 through the air for 254 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He took advantage against a Mizzou defense that is a shell of its predecessors and gained confidence along the way that will certainly help him going forward.
2. The Gamecocks have righted the ship: With a mark of 5-4 on the year, as mentioned before, South Carolina is one win away from being bowl eligible. Although they have trips remaining to Gainesville and Clemson for matchups against the Gators and Tigers, the encounter against Western Carolina sandwiched between them should give Will Muschamp’s bunch the opportunity to punch their ticket. After looking listless not too long ago following a 28-14 loss to Georgia, it’s a credit to this team and the coaching staff for being able to pile up these last three wins in succession. It is likely to pay dividends big time.
3. Mizzou is on pace for their worst season of the 21st century: Mizzou stands at 2-7 with zero SEC wins and with Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Arkansas lying ahead for them, the forecast isn’t filled with optimism. The last time that they had eight losses in a season was the final year of the Larry Smith era in 2000 before Gary Pinkel came to town. Missouri hasn’t had nine losses since 1989, the first year of the Bob Stull era, and haven’t had double digit losses since the first year of the Woody Widenhofer era back in 1985. All of those marks are within reach, and that’s company you certainly don’t want to be in. Nevertheless, that’s where they stand, and something must be done to avoid that misery.