Sports

Missouri-South Carolina Preview

BREAKING DOWN THE “BATTLE OF THE COLUMBIAS” By REECE FUNDERBURK  ||  The “Battle of the Columbias” returns to South Carolina this year for a key SEC East matchup – with ESPN’s College GameDay adding to the allure of this budding rivalry. The Gamecocks won in miraculous fashion last year in…

BREAKING DOWN THE “BATTLE OF THE COLUMBIAS”

reeceBy REECE FUNDERBURK  ||  The “Battle of the Columbias” returns to South Carolina this year for a key SEC East matchup – with ESPN’s College GameDay adding to the allure of this budding rivalry.

The Gamecocks won in miraculous fashion last year in Mizzou – a double overtime game in which they trailed 17-0 in the fourth quarter before mounting a memorable comeback.  Two years ago at Williams-Brice South Carolina rolled over Missouri 30-13 in the Tigers’ first-ever SEC road game.

This year the Gamecocks (3-1, 2-1 SEC) are coming off of an unimpressive road win over Vanderbilt, while the Tigers (3-1, 0-0 SEC) were defeated at home by Indiana.

To be prepared and know what to expect, here’s how the two teams grade out this week:

Quarterbacks

Fifth-year senior Dylan Thompson is currently ranked second in the SEC with 1,140 passing yards through four games while sophomore Maty Mauk of Missouri is not far behind with 978 yards through four as well.  Mauk has the lead in touchdowns, throwing for fourteen to Thompson’s eleven.  Right now Mauk is doing more with less – having lost his top three receivers from last year.

EDGE: MISSOURI

Running Backs

South Carolina was not especially effective running the ball last week against Vanderbilt.  Redshirt freshman David Williams looked good in limited action, though, and should receive even more touches this week as Brandon Wilds has been banged up.  Missouri brings in junior Russell Hansbrough – who is not a superstar tailback but a very capable starter in the SEC.  Missouri has depth as well with senior Marcus Murphy but for now, only one group is more battle tested.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Wide Receivers

A key position for both squads, expect both quarterbacks to come out firing.  South Carolina will look to continue its success last weekend with sophomore Pharoh Cooper – who looks like the most talented player on the team right now and has the hot hand. Missouri will be sending out Bud Sasser and Darius White who are tall targets at 6-foot-2 and 6-foot-3, respectively.  Sasser currently is the favorite target with over 350 receiving yards – and he’ll look to continue his success against a very generous Gamecock secondary.  Depth though is an issue for the Tigers, whereas the Gamecocks have a stable of talented wideouts.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Offensive Line

South Carolina’s front five underperformed last weekend against a Vanderbilt defensive line with only one elite player.  While this group seems to show up each week depending on its opponent, the line is still a talented group with a few potential NFL players.  More consistent play is clearly needed, though.  Missouri will be switching things around this week – playing without starting left guard Anthony Gatti.  Right tackle Connor McGovern will be moving to right guard, which is where he started all fourteen games last season. Brad McNulty will replace Gatti at left guard while Taylor Chappell will play right tackle.  After the new changes and a not-so-stellar game against Indiana, this one is easy.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Tight End

Missouri does not utilize the tight end position very much in its receiving game but sophomore Sean Culkin is capable of being an easy dump-off option.  He is in his first year as a starter, though.  South Carolina will utilize both Rory Anderson and Jerell Adams -however Anderson has emerged as the favorite target of the two.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Defensive Line

Replacing the likes of Kony Ealy and Michael Sam has been hard for the Tigers – however the same can be said about South Carolina having to replace Jadeveon Clowney and Kelcy Quarles.  Both teams do not pride themselves on their defense, however Indiana ran through Missouri’s rush defense pretty easily – amassing over 250 yards.  South Carolina has yet to be burned by that much against a quality opponent.

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

Secondary

Led by senior Braylon Webb, Missouri has talent and depth in its defensive backfield.  South Carolina on the other hand is still very weak but showed improvement last weekend with Brison Williams at safety.  Williams will move back to cornerback for the Missouri game, playing opposite Al Harris, Jr. (son of the former NFL great).  Chaz Elder and T.J. Gurley will start at the safety positions for South Carolina.

EDGE: MISSOURI

Linebackers

Missouri was gouged last week by Indiana – and the Hoosiers’ backup running backs – for much of the first half.  South Carolina didn’t look especially good against Vanderbilt, either,

EDGE: SOUTH CAROLINA

This should be an exciting game – with Missouri opening its SEC slate and looking for payback from last year’s upset.  Gary Pinkel’s team is also no doubt still smarting from its embarrassing loss to Indiana.  South Carolina should come out highly motivated, too, after head coach Steve Spurrier read his players the riot act following their lackluster performance in Nashville.

The Gamecocks have more overall talent and depth, but their defense will be put to another test against another high-powered air raid attack – and if South Carolina doesn’t find some consistency on that side of the ball, they will be on upset alert.

FINAL: SOUTH CAROLINA 38-28

Pic: Travis Bell Photography

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23 comments

Gregory Geddings September 26, 2014 at 9:11 am

To hell with Missouri. Several years ago I started a campaign to kick Missouri out of the union. I even removed one of the stars from my American flag in protest. I am saving that star, however, in hopes that Puerto Rico will take Missouri’s place. That would be a BIG improvement!

Here is a link to one of many videos and articles which I have posted about what I call the “Butt Crack State”:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVK9fmvfxTM

Go Gamecocks!

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shifty henry September 26, 2014 at 9:21 am

That was a trip – in fact we now know you are a trip!
1. What do you have against Missouri?
2. What do you have against Ryans?

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Gregory Geddings September 26, 2014 at 9:32 am

Can’t reply too much. Will is snipping my comments.

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shifty henry September 26, 2014 at 9:40 am

What does Will have against Missouri? C’mon, Will —— CONFESS..!!

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Gregory Geddings September 26, 2014 at 4:14 pm

Will didn’t like it when I posted a vital link which answered your questions regarding Missouri. I think he’s mad because I posted a photoshop of him and Howie in an article titled “Will Folks: Pole Dancer.”

Ease up, Will. It ain’t like I made up a photoshop of you and Howie and called it “Will Folks: Pole Smoker.”

Anyway, if you google “Missouri: Birthplace of the Stapler and Rush Limbaugh” it will take you to a brief article with photos which will answer your inquiries about why I hate MO… the “Blow Me State.”

Go Gamecocks! (USC, Class of ’72)

shifty henry September 26, 2014 at 7:29 pm

scrolled through several links, and especially enjoyed the video “Tanner Plantation” — hope the two dogs found a good home — was that really a cat(?) on the porch rail just looking at that possum?–my sides hurt from laughing..!!

Gregory Geddings September 27, 2014 at 7:46 am

Big controversy down here. Hanahan city council is on a tear to chop down every tree in sight and slap up poorly built condos and single family homes on tiny lots. Westvaco gave the city two pristine 21 acre lots on opposite sides of Williams Lane for 1) a recreation area and 2) a city park.

City government does not want to honor Westvaco’s wishes.

Ryland Homes, a nationwide company, is the prime builder down here. If you google their name and add “consumer complaints” you will find some 3 thousand links. Turns out they view their warranties as little more than writing on a piece of paper.

shifty henry September 27, 2014 at 10:00 am

good for the dogs – will accept the hairball incident – good luck on keeping the open lands

Mike at the Beach September 27, 2014 at 4:30 am

That video was disturbing at several levels.

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Gregory Geddings September 27, 2014 at 7:38 am

Yup!

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Fastmouth September 26, 2014 at 9:23 am

I would love to see the Gamecocks jump out to a quick lead and dominate for once. Seems like they always have to play catch-up to win a ball game. Just my 2 cents.

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shifty henry September 26, 2014 at 9:39 am

Here’s my .98 cents —– for an even dollar
—-
2 bits! 4 bits! 6 bits! a dollar!

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The Colonel September 26, 2014 at 9:48 am

35-24 Gamecocks

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Havana Daydreamin Handicapper September 26, 2014 at 10:04 am

Spurrier took over special teams so those big return yards will not come easy for Ms.
Defense in general will still get pushed around but the defense may score this week and generate a few turnovers.
It will be up to Dylan since Mike Davis doesn’t put up the yards that we thought he would. He is too muscle bound to turn corners – running like a robot – but good straight away if they can get him a screen to outside so he can go straight away.
Dylan + Pheroh = 40 points and we will need every one of them to outpace Mizzou.

40-39 Gamecocks

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Judge Keller September 26, 2014 at 10:33 am

I got to “impressive win against Vanderbilt” then decided to move on to better bullshit.

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Uh Huh September 26, 2014 at 12:27 pm

44 – 21 Gamecocks

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.. September 26, 2014 at 12:39 pm

48-27 Gamecocks. And yes, USC gets an early lead, and holds it.

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TontoBubbaGoldstein September 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Huge upset!
OMG!/WTF? moment for Sakerlina Football.

Mizzou 35
Sakerlina 17

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9" September 26, 2014 at 7:00 pm

This a geography word problem.How the hell did Missouri get in the SEC? Is Connecticut next? Same with TAMU. Could Carolina join the the,BIG TEN?
So,if Missouri’s bus brakes down,how long would it take them to get to,Williams-Brice?

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shifty henry September 28, 2014 at 3:21 pm

?? –$$$$$$$$$ — ??

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shifty henry September 27, 2014 at 10:03 am

The Magik Round Dice are warming themselves in the sun and will report later…

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Time For A Real Loss September 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm

Miss:32 SC:17

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Scooter September 29, 2014 at 4:13 pm

A&M and Missouri are two years in the SEC and they own the SEC wanna bes.

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