Missouri tries to remain in thick of SEC East race with South Carolina coming to town


South Carolina (2-4, 1-3 SEC) at No. 20 Missouri (6-1, 2-1), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network).

Line: Missouri by 7 1-2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Missouri leads 8-5.


Missouri needs to win to remain in the title hunt in the SEC East with top-ranked Georgia, the only team ahead of it in the standings, awaiting the following week. The Tigs are coming off an impressive, confidence-building 38-21 win at Kentucky last week. South Carolina has lost back-to-back games against Tennessee and Florida, and the loss to the Gators was especially devastating. The Gamecocks led 37-27 with less than 5 minutes left before allowing two late TDs in a 41-39 defeat.


Missouri QB Brady Cook vs. South Carolina’s pass defense. This seems like a mismatch. Cook and the Tigers are averaging more than 306 yards through the air while the Gamecocks are dead last in the SEC in allowing 321 yards passing to opponents this season.


South Carolina: QB Spencer Rattler is playing at a high level, perhaps the best of his career. The fifth-year senior, who is in his second season with the Gamecocks, has had three 300-yard-plus passing games this season and has 1,724 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions.

Missouri: WR Theo Wease Jr. often gets overlooked in the Tigers’ offense because of Luther Burden III, who is second nationally with 808 yards receiving. Wease led the way with six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown against Kentucky last week, and the Oklahoma transfer has 34 catches for 392 yards and five scores on the season.


Missouri has won the past four games in the series, including a 23-10 victory at South Carolina last year. The Tigers have not lost at home to the Gamecocks since a 31-13 defeat in 2017. … South Carolina RB Mario Anderson, a Division II transfer, has found his footing with 287 yards rushing and two TDs in the past three SEC games. … Rattler has 4,750 yards passing for his career, 12th in program history and just 146 behind Bobby Fuller. … The Tigers are bowl-eligible for the fourth time under Eli Drinkwitz, who matched Warren Powers from 1978-81 as their only coaches to achieve eligibility their first four seasons. … Missouri is trying to become the 33rd Football Bowl Subdivision team with 700 wins in program history. … Missouri is 3-0 this season when trailing after the first quarter. … The Tigers have scored at least 30 points in five consecutive games, their longest streak against FBS opponents since the 2019 season. … Tigers CB Kris Abrams-Draine has four interceptions this season.


AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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