South Carolina at Missouri
When: Noon, Saturday
Where: Columbia, Mo.
TV: SEC Network
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Last week: The Tigers were outscored 14-6 in the second half in a 21-13 loss at Kentucky. Quarterback Maty Mauk went 15-for-30 for 180 yards and a touchdown.
Three story lines
1. Each of the past two meetings between South Carolina and Missouri has ended with the visiting team rallying for a come-from-behind win.
2. Mauk has struggled this year, completing 51.8 percent of his passes. He has thrown for 654 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Backup Drew Lock saw playing time against UConn with Mauk struggling. According to reports, Mauk will not be available to the media on Monday because he is out of town for family reasons.
3. The Tigers have struggled to get anything going on the ground. Starting running back Ish Witter is averaging 3.5 yards per carry. He is the only Tigers running back with more than 100 rushing yards on the year.
Three players to watch
1. Senior running back Tyler Hunt has caught only four passes this year, yet leads the team in receiving yards with 166. He is averaging 41.5 yards per reception and also has 10 carries for 32 yards.
2. Senior linebacker Kentrell Brothers has 52 tackles through four games, which is more than twice as many as anyone else for Missouri. He also leads the team in interceptions with two. He left Saturday’s game against Kentucky with an ankle injury, so it remains to be seen whether or not he will be available this weekend.
3. Missouri always seems to have strong pass rushers, and this year is no different. Charles Harris has 9.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and three quarterback hurries. He’ll provide a challenge to USC’s offensive line.
Missouri 24, South Carolina 21. It is tough to make a prediction without knowing the injury status of Brandon Wilds and Missouri’s best defensive player. The Gamecocks struggled to run against UCF, and Missouri’s defensive front is much tougher. The Tigers have struggled offensively, but Missouri will make enough plays at home to escape with a victory against a true freshman quarterback making his first career road start.