South Carolina football: Gamecocks drop fourth straight game to Missouri

South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Luke Doty (4). Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
South Carolina Gamecocks quarterback Luke Doty (4). Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports /

South Carolina football dropped their first game without Will Muschamp.

South Carolina lost a fourth consecutive game on Saturday, being taken down by the Missouri Tigers by a score of 17-10. The game was Mike Bobo’s first as interim head coach, and saw the Gamecocks struggle on offense for the third time in its last four contests.

Still, there were some reasons for optimism. The offense was provided a second half spark by freshman signal caller Luke Doty, who came in after halftime to throw for 130 yards. He also led the team in rushing with 59 yards on 11 carries. Doty brought life to a Carolina group that was anemic through the game’s first two quarters.

Starting quarterback Collin Hill was yanked following a 6-for-10, 39-yard performance. The Gamecocks were held scoreless in the first half, and went into the locker room trailing 17-0.

The second half gave Gamecock fans hope, though, as the team refused to give in, and battled back for a game-tying drive opportunity in the final minutes.

Unfortunately, Doty threw an interception as he attempted to orchestrate the 99-yard drive, and the Gamecocks’ fate was sealed.

With that said, the second half performance may have been just what the Gamecocks needed as they look to get back on track next weekend versus Georgia. The change at quarterback is one that fans have been hoping to see for more than a month now. The defense held Missouri scoreless in the final two quarters, despite being down three starters in the secondary, and two more on the defensive line.

The performance showed that the coaching staff hasn’t lost the attention of a young Gamecock core. Players like Doty, Kevin Harris, Cam Smith, and John Dixon continue to fight, and are making the most of their new found opportunities.

Things were beginning to look bleak last week, as South Carolina fired Will Muschamp, and saw a handful of defenders opt out of the season’s final three games. The team could’ve crumbled after going down by 17 early in the matchup, but they chose to battle back rather than give in.

Hopefully, that second half performance carries over into a home meeting with Georgia next weekend, as the Gamecocks try to notch their first win since mid October. This team hasn’t given up on the season yet, neither should the fans.