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Missouri gets back on track with win over South Carolina

The Tigers are suddenly one game from bowl eligibility.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri Tigers got back in the win column Saturday when they pulled out a 31-28 victory over the South Carolina Gamecocks to capture the Mayor’s Cup.

Connor Bazelak returned to the team after missing the Georgia game with an injury, and had 180 passing yards along with a pair of touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.

Tyler Badie had a huge day for the Tigers, rushing for 208 yards on 34 attempts and putting Mizzou up 31-14 in the fourth quarter with a 19 yard rushing touchdown.

Defensively, Mizzou actually looked fairly good, especially against the run. The Gamecocks rushed for 57 yards on 35 attempts, which is a good sign for a rushing defense that has been among the worst in college football this season.

Both teams were finding their footing early on, as Bazelak and South Carolina quarterback Jason Brown both threw interceptions on their first drive. The Gamecocks responded with a Kevin Harris rushing touchdown, though, for the first quarter’s only score.

Both of Bazelak’s touchdowns came in the second quarter, as he found Daniel Parker and Mookie Cooper, respectively. to put Mizzou up 14-7. The lead was short-lived, as Brown found Josh Vann to even things up. Mizzou went into the locker room with the lead though, as Harrison Mevis booted a 19 yard kick to put the Tigers up 17-14.

The third quarter was a bit of a slog until, with about four minutes left, Martez Manuel sacked Jason Brown, and Trajan Jeffcoat picked the ball up for a Mizzou touchdown to put the Tigers up 24-14. Badie’s 19 yard rush early in the fourth stretched the Mizzou lead to 31-14, and it looked like things were a foregone conclusion for the Tigers.

South Carolina had something to say about that, though. Brown found Zaquandre White for a touchdown pass midway through the quarter, then the Gamecocks got the ball back and White had a three yard rushing touchdown to suddenly cut Mizzou’s lead to 31-28. South Carolina’s comeback would end there, though, as they would never touch the ball again in the game, as Tyler Badie ran out the clock on the win.

Mizzou improves to 5-5 on the year and will face Florida next week, while South Carolina falls to 5-5 and will face Auburn.