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October 25, 2013

Gamecock Sports: Game Prediction - Gamecocks vs. Missouri

Roller Coaster of Emotion
Everything was playing out perfectly for the Gamecocks last weekend, Georgia and Florida were losing and the Gamecocks were winning. But then the offense sputtered, Connor Shaw got hurt, the coaching staff wasted not one but two timeouts, and Tennessee kicked a game winning field goal in the final seconds to upset the Gamecocks. Now the Gamecocks have to travel to the other Columbia to face the undefeated Missouri Tigers who are rolling despite losing their starting quarterback two weeks ago.

Missouri has charged its way through the SEC in its second year as a member of the conference at a torrid pace. Quarterback James Franklin was primed to lead his team to the promised land but got injured late in the Georgia game. After his injury it seemed that the Tigers would quietly sink away with a "what could have been" season just out of their grasp, but then Maty Mauk took the reins and ran. He picked up right where Franklin had left off and the offense looked like a well oiled machine, not missing a beat.

The Tigers' explosive offense looks to take advantage of a miserable Gamecock secondary with both the passing game and Henry Josey at running back, who went for over 100 yards against Florida last week. The Tigers defense forced Florida to punt eight times last week and only allowed 17 points. This week they will tee off against an abnormal back-up quarterback and an offense that could only move the ball on the ground last week. The strong front seven for Missouri will make it tough for the Gamecocks to run the ball, forcing them to try and find an effective, balanced attack in the air and on land.

South Carolina
To put it mildly the offense looked and played the worst I have seen it in quite some time. Despite several great throws, most of the receivers couldn’t make routine catches and forced the Gamecocks into an early hole. Thankfully, Mike Davis and Demarie Byrd got Carolina back in the game. But this week the Gamecocks face a team that will not give them the opportunity to recover from an early hole.

With Shaw ailing, Dylan Thompson will get his first start of the season and looks to ignite an offense left for dead last week in Knoxville, with the help of the always reliable Mike Davis. That being said, hopefully the Gamecock receivers will make the catches they should make to keep the pressure off the running game.

The defense looked much improved at Tennessee but with the offense struggling they were worn out by the fourth quarter and could not make a stop on Tennessee’s final drive, the drive that led to the game winning field goal as time expired. The defense will look to get a strong push up front to put pressure on Missouri’s inexperienced quarterback and try to force mistakes. The secondary for the Gamecocks must improve quickly if there is any hope of recovering what’s left of this season.

The Tigers look like they are headed to Atlanta the first week of December unless someone can derail them and the Gamecocks do not appear to be that team. Missouri will take care of business this weekend and continue on their journey to the Georgia Dome.

Final Score: South Carolina 21, Missouri 35

Post written by Gamecock Girl Sports Bloggess, Lauren Rippy.

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