Series history - Missouri

In this series, GamecockAnthem takes a look at the series history of each of the opponents in the 2012 season. Today we take a look at South Carolina's second conference opponent, Missouri.

Series history – Missouri leads 2-0; no meeting in Columbia
Last 10 meetings – Missouri leads 2-0
Under Spurrier – Missouri leads 1-0
Largest margin of victory – Missouri 24-14, 1979
Closest margin of victory – Missouri, 38-31, 2005
Last game – Missouri, 38-31, 2005

For the first time in the history of the two programs South Carolina and Missouri will face off in a regular season match-up. It will also be the first time the two schools meet in a conference game as Missouri joins the SEC East this season. The two teams first met in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl game. Missouri overcame a downpour and forced two Gamecock turnovers and a 25-yard punt to come back from a 6-0 deficit to win 24-14. George Rogers carried the ball 25 times for 133 yards and Garry Harper completed 13-of-19 passes for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Last time out – It would take 26 years for the two teams to be matched up again in a bowl game, but the two were selected to play in the 2005 Independence Bowl in Steve Spurrier's first year at Carolina. It is a game that Carolina would just like to forget as Missouri, led by quarterback Brad Smith, overcame a 28-7 deficit late in the second half to win 38-31. Smith put on a show, completing 21-of-37 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown with one interception, and rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns in the comeback. Three Blake Mitchell interceptions, including a school record 99-yard interception return by Marcus King in the second quarter, aided the comeback. The Gamecocks were on the verge of a potential 28-0 lead when King intercepted the pass.

Most memorable moment – A trio of Gamecocks had memorable performances against Missouri in the two meetings. As mentioned, Rogers rushed for 133 yards in the 1979 loss to the Tigers. In the 2005 season, Sidney Rice put on a show, finishing with 191 yards on 12 catches and a touchdown. Running back Mike Davis rushed for 125 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. That performance was overshadowed by Smith accounting for 431 of Missouri's 504 yards.

Key to the game – There's good news and bad news. The bad news is that Missouri will likely be the first team to challenge Carolina. Even with Vandy causing so many problems in recent match-ups and ECU giving the Gamecocks problems last year, those are both games Carolina should win with relative ease. Beating Missouri will not be easy. The Tigers would have already faced Georgia and Arizona State at home so they will know what they have. This game could come down to who has the ball the most. That means the key to a Carolina win could be the legs of Marcus Lattimore. He's a guy that you could easily say is the key to every game, but there are a handful of games that Carolina has to get a big performance from Lattimore and this is one of them.

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