South Carolina vs. Missouri: Game Breakdown and Report Card


Saturday night in Columbia, the Missouri Tigers exacted revenge on the South Carolina Gamecocks in the best way they could—by coming back to win with little time left just when it seemed like the Gamecocks had sealed the win. Let’s analyze what happened in last night’s 21-20 loss to Missouri.

Rushing offense: Although Mike Davis went over 100 yards rushing for the game, Brandon Wilds had a couple nice pops, and it felt better, it still wasn’t dominating. There were a lot of third and one plays that barely gained the first down, and a fourth and one couldn’t be converted. The best part of the attack, though, was that Davis and Wilds seemed to be running north and south with authority, which is what at least made the rush a little dangerous. Ultimately. the rushing game didn’t do what it’s designed to do, and that is open up the passing game. Overall Grade: B

More from South Carolina Football

Passing offense

: The overall passing performance as a group was terrible. A wide open drop by Jerrell Adams, a touchdown drop by Rory Anderson, receivers that didn’t work to get open when Dylan was scrambling, Thompson failing to throw the ball away when he should again this game, and way too much pressure on the quarterback. The biggest problem on the squad seemed to be the play calling. The Missouri defense has some terrific pass rushers and a solid zone defense, but the plays called did not seem to account for either of those. There were an incredible amount of play-action passes, which not only didn’t fool the defense, but gave the puss rushers more time to get into the backfield. Also, the routes seemed to be continuously too short for what was needed, constantly running five yard routes when they needed ten yards. Then there was the final series in which Dylan Thompson seemed to fold under the pressure with four consecutive throws that made little sense. Definitely looks like a lot of work for this group.

Overall Grade: D

Rushing defense: This was solid all night. In fact, if you take away the broken play that Maty Mauk ran for 25 yards, they really didn’t do much. They held up as much as you could ask near the goal line as well. J.T. Surratt seemed to be playing like a man possessed, and it was contagious. The only real knock is that Missouri seemed to be able to easily pick up five or six yards on first and second down over and over. Overall Grade: B

Passing defense: Well, this was a tale of two teams. One team was the defense Lorenzo Ward has been known for. At one point Maty Mauk was 6 for 24 and only 62 yards. The defense seemed to get into the backfield of Missouri very quickly, and got some good pressure on the quarterback. Also, the coverage seemed to be there, and it was so close to interception after interception. The fans definitely appreciated the effort by the pass defense as well for much of the game. But unfortunately, for a few plays in a few series, they gave up some big plays, and looked lost again. In fact, the Gamecocks offensive struggles hurt them more than anything else. Definitely their best outing of the season though. Overall Grade: B+

Special Teams: Really solid here this week. Elliott Fry was perfect as usual and Tyler Hull might be sore today after nine punts, but he had an excellent game as well. The coverage was much better, although the punt return for Missouri in the fourth quarter hurt. Overall Grade: B+

This was a tough loss for the Gamecocks. It’s easy to criticize Spurrier for not going for two points on the final touchdown, but I really don’t think anyone thought they should.  Missouri had 7 drives for only 43 yards leading up to that, so why would anyone think they were going to need that. Of course a few minutes later, it seemed so obvious. Ultimately, all the improvements mean nothing when it ends up in a loss. The big question is how this loss affects the remainder of the season.