Scouting the Gamecocks’ next opponent: Missouri Tigers

October 20, 2013 

GAME: 7 p.m., Saturday

RECORD: 7-0

RANKING: No. 5

SERIES: Missouri leads 2-1

LAST YEAR

South Carolina rolled to a comfortable 31-10 victory at Williams-Brice Stadium behind quarterback Connor Shaw’s spectacular day. Shaw completed 20-of-21 passes, which included 20 straight, for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Ace Sanders retuned a punt 49 yards to set up USC’s first touchdown, which was scored on a 2-yard run by tailback Marcus Lattimore, who finished with 85 yards and two touchdowns. Sanders ended up with 106 yards on six punt returns while also catching a 23-yard touchdown pass.

COACH

Gary Pinkel. In his 13th season at Missouri, Pinkel has compiled a 97-61 record to become the school’s second-winningest coach while taking it to eight bowl games. He also coached 10 successful seasons at Toledo (1991-2000), and his career record now stands at 170-98-3. After the Tigers went 5-7 in their first SEC season, Frankel has guided the Tigers to a fast start this season, including a 3-0 mark in the Eastern Division.

QUICK TAKE

Missouri has shown that it has the ability to contend for the SEC East title with consecutive wins over Georgia on the road and Florida at home. A victory over the Gamecocks would make the Tigers the team to beat down the stretch in the bid to reach the conference championship game. Mizzou has won its three conference games by an average score of 43-24.

TIGER TIDBITS

A season-high sellout crowd of 67,124 saw the 36-17 win over No. 22 Florida. … Missouri has recorded a turnover in 37 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the country. The Tigers have forced 18 turnovers this season, which includes 14 interceptions, a figure that ranks No. 1 nationally. … Missouri rolled up 500 yards of total offense on Florida, which had led the SEC in total defense. … Missouri’s two wins against the Gamecocks came in the 1979 Hall of Fame Bowl and the 2005 Independence Bowl. … In seven games, the Tigers have averaged 44.3 points on 513.4 yards per game.

TIGERS TO WATCH:

QB MATY MAUK: The freshman threw for 295 yards and one touchdown on 18-of-36 passing in his first career start in the win over Florida.

WR L’DAMIAN WASHINGTON: The senior has keyed an explosive offense with 32 catches for 539 yards, a 16.8-yard average, and seven touchdowns.

DE MICHAEL SAM: The senior has dominated this season with an SEC-leading nine sacks to go with 27 tackles, 13 of them for loss.

LB ANDREW WILSON: The senior leads the team with 50 tackles, something the big hitter also did in the 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Compiled by Neil White

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