South Carolina Gamecocks Football Roundtable: Missouri


September 9th, the South Carolina Gamecocks will face-off against the Missouri Tigers in both teams first SEC matchup of the 2017 season. Both programs have second year Head coaches in Will Muschamp and Barry Odom. Eric Quackenbush from Truman’s Tales, and Garnet and Cocky are teaming up with a two-part round table to discuss the game this week.

G&C: The Gamecocks defense has been notorious for having a hard time getting to the QB, How do you think the Gamecocks defensive line will perform against the Tigers offensive line? Will they get into the backfield and disrupt Drew Lock early, or will they have a hard time all day disrupting the Junior QB?

South Carolina’s defensive line is a different animal from what Missouri saw in Week 1 against Missouri State. That said, I think the Gamecocks have considerable size and speed to get to Drew Lock. It will be up to the offensive line to give Lock as much time to get the ball out as possible. Against Missouri State, the Tigers allowed one sack on Lock, but this is an SEC opponent, now. The offensive line will be ready to limit South Carolina’s pass rush from putting too much pressure on the quarterback.

I think South Carolina’s defensive front will try to put pressure on Lock early and often, but they’re going to have to respect both phases of Missouri’s offense, which will force them to respect the run, as well. If Lock is able to settle in, then he should be good to go by the second quarter.

G&C: Both Coaches are entering their second year as the HC for their programs, who do you think has had the most success so far? Who do you see making it to Atlanta first representing the east?

This is a tough question, and one that I think I may be too soon to call.

For Missouri, Barry Odom inherited a team that former coach Gary Pinkel assembled. Now, in his second season as head coach, it’s probably too early to say that Odom has had more or less success recruiting than Will Muschamp.

As far as records go, well, South Carolina finished two games better than Missouri in 2016, however, in a head-to-head, the Gamecocks beat the Tigers in 2016, so technically speaking, Muschamp has had the most success so far, but the more intriguing question is which coach will sustain greater longevity? As of right now, I’m not sure that either coach will. If Missouri assembles a better record than last year, and goes to a bowl game and pulls off a win, that will certainly work in Odom’s favor. Likewise, for Muschamp.

Missouri has the future potential to compete for, and reclaim the SEC East title, but I don’t see that happening this year. If recruiting the defensive side of the ball goes well next year, then I think the Tigers have a strong chance of returning to Atlanta. If South Carolina continues building its program the way it is, then I think it could be a close competition between both teams. I’m going to take Mizzou to get back to Atlanta before South Carolina.

G&C: Gary Danielson has just recently said Jeke Bentley is the Best QB in the SEC? Do you agree? How would you rank him and Drew Lock compared to the other players in the SEC?

I think it’s great that South Carolina has a promising young quarterback in its midst. Paul Finebaum also said he’d never visit Missouri, but he’ll be there on Saturday. I think Bentley has the potential to become a top quarterback in the SEC, but I don’t think he’s there, yet.

If we’re going on stats, Lock, without a doubt, has the better numbers. Last year alone, he led the SEC in passing yards, with 3,399, compared to Bentley at 1,420. Lock more than doubled Bentley’s passing yardage. Granted, Missouri padded its stats against Delaware State, but if you take that game away, Lock still outperformed Bentley. Lock also has two seasons of experience on Bentley, so comparing stats may be unfair.

Right now, I think Bentley should be one of the better quarterbacks – I’ll go top-five – in the SEC this season. I’m going to stick with Lock as being the best QB in the SEC, right now.

G&C: For my Game prediction I have the game being a shoot out. I believe both teams are weak on the defensive side of the ball, but I also believe our teams have some of the best talent on the offensive side in the SEC. I have the Gamecocks winning 45-34, What about you?

CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 02: Jake Bentley /

The fact that Missouri’s defense allowed an FCS program to put 43 points up scares me, a lot. At least South Carolina escaped with a win against an FBS opponent. Fortunately, the defense made some adjustments and was able to contain Missouri State a little better in the second half.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about South Carolina’s offense. I’ve heard that beyond Bentley, they don’t have anyone on offense, but I also know that beyond Bentley, the Gamecocks have Deebo Samuel at receiver, and tremendous depth, elsewhere. I have to agree with you, that this game should be a shoot-out. My concern is that South Carolina’s defense may be a little more prepared to play than Missouri’s, but I’m confident that the coaching staff has made the necessary adjustments over the week to prepare the defense for SEC play.

Because they play a better defense, I think Missouri’s offensive play will look more realistic against South Carolina than the near blowout performance they gave last week. On the other side of the ball, I think the Tigers’ defense will be ready to show that last week’s performance was a fluke. I’m in agreement, that the final score will be close, but I’m going to take the Tigers to go 2-0, with a final score of 42-38.
G&C: What weaknesses do you see in the Gamecocks defense that you think Drew lock and company will exploit?

South Carolina fields a young defense, which I think will make Missouri’s offensive game plan a little more unusual than normal. I think the Tigers will try some passes early on to see if South Carolina is off guard, before establishing the running game. Once Carolina respects the run, I think the Tigers will use a good mix of both in hopes of wearing down the defense. I think South Carolina’s biggest weakness on defense is stopping the run, and the Tigers have a solid mix of running backs in Damarea Crockett, Ish Witter, and Nate Strong.

Check Truman’s Tales for the questions they asked and we answered in return for this weeks Round Table.