Tigers Suffer Road Loss At S. Carolina 31-10

The Tigers find their first taste of life on the road in the SEC not so sweet, as on Saturday, the #7/#8 South Carolina Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0) defeated the Missouri Tigers (2-2, 0-2) by the final score of 31-10 in Southeastern Conference action.

On Saturday, the #7/#8 South Carolina Gamecocks (4-0, 2-0) defeated the Missouri Tigers (2-2, 0-2) by the final score of 31-10 in Southeastern Conference action.

For the Gamecocks, QB Connor Shaw was 20-21-0 passing for 249 yards and 2 TDs, and RB Marcus Lattimore ran the football 21 times for 85 yards and 2 TDs.  Lattimore was also South Carolina's leading receiver, with 7 receptions for 60 yards.  His second score gave him 33 rushing TDs for his career, which established a new school record for the Gamecocks.

On the other side of the football, Missouri's offense was simply inept.  The Tigers managed just 255 yards of total offense on 58 plays (4.4 yards/ play).  Kendial Lawrence led Missouri with 11 carries for 67 yards rushing, and Marcus Lucas had 9 receptions for 78 yards and 1 TD. 

But, Lawrence twice fumbled a pitch that hit him right in the hands, drive killers each, that instead of a potential big gain, sent the Tigers scrambling backwards.

South Carolina also had a huge advantage in field position throughout the game, as the Gamecocks also added 106 yards on punt returns, and returned a critical late second-quarter kickoff for 50 yards.

Missouri's James Franklin was 11-18-0 passing for just 92 yards and no scores.  Late in the game, Corbin Berkstresser came in and drove the Tigers down for their only touchdown, as he was 7-8-0 passing for 54 yards and 1 TD.

With South Carolina leading 14-0 late in the first half, Franklin and the Tigers put together a 76-yard drive to the South Carolina 4-yard line, but offensive ineptitude forced Missouri to settle for a field goal that pulled the Tigers to within 14-3.

However, Bruce Ellington ran the ensuing kickoff back to mid-field, and just before the half, Shaw found Ace Sanders for a 23-yard TD pass in the right front corner of the end zone.  That was the second time in the first half that Missouri's outstanding corner, E.J. Gaines, surrendered a TD pass to Shaw and the Gamecocks. 

Missouri got the football to begin the second-half trailing 21-3, but the Tigers were three and out, and had to punt, after which Missouri was never really in the game.

Following the game, Coach Pinkel replied to the inevitable QB questions by saying that James Franklin will continue to be the Tigers' starting QB.

The Tigers defense had their worst outing of the season, but they received little help from the offense, and Missouri's coverage teams were awful.  DT Sheldon Richardson was a bright spot for the Tigers, and Missouri held South Carolina to just 3.7 yards/carry on the ground.  But Shaw was terrific, as he picked Missouri apart, underneath at first, and eventually down the field.

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