1. TAKE TWO
The Gamecocks are playing a similar opponent for the second consecutive week. If they learn from what they do wrong with great offense/OK defense N.C. State in Week 1, they can translate that into Week 2.
2. HOME-FIELD ADVANTAGE?
Who knows if the Mizzou fans will crowd into a stadium for a Week 1 game against Missouri State, or this one, after a 4-8 season? A united alumni and student base hasn’t been the case at Mizzou the past two years, and that goes beyond football.
3. NOT A LOCK
Drew Lock has a powerful arm and a few games under his belt, and roasted underwhelming defenses last year. He also had 10 balls picked off, one at the 2-yard line during a loss at USC.And the Gamecocks get Skai Moore back this year (11 career interceptions).
4. WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS
Missouri’s rotten defense from a year ago gets a softball in Missouri State in Week 1. The Gamecocks’ defense, not rotten but not healthy a year ago, has to slow down N.C. State. Results aside, USC’s D will be more seasoned.
5. THE RUNNING MEN
Keep the ball on the ground, keep the clock moving, keep Missouri’s offense off the field. The Tigers gave up over 232 rushing yards per game last year, and the Gamecocks have Rico Dowdle, A.J. Turner and Ty’Son Williams.