It’s going to be another long day for South Carolina fans on Saturday.
While it’s hard to imagine it could match the intensity of last week, when Gamecock fans had almost eight straight hours of very important and very competitive football to follow between the Auburn-Georgia game and then the Gamecocks’ narrow win over Florida, it will require some preparation. South Carolina’s game against Coastal Carolina kicks off at 1 p.m. and should be complete by 4:30. That leaves about three hours before the day’s second important game begins as Missouri and Ole Miss don’t kick off until 7:45 p.m.
Let’s go deep on that Tigers-Rebels game today. (Quick review: South Carolina goes to the SEC championship game if Missouri loses either of its next two games.) Missouri is a 2.5- to 3-point favorite, depending on where you look. Ole Miss is 7-3 this season and has lost only once at home this year, 41-38 to Texas A&M. The Rebels come into the game having won four straight games.
Ole Miss is third in the SEC in passing offense and fifth in rushing and may have more luck throwing the ball Saturday than running it. Missouri is last in the SEC in passing defense and second in rush defense. The Tigers’ fast and athletic defensive line is perfectly suited to stop the Rebels’ run game but may not have as much luck against Donte Moncrief (44 catches) and company.
Ole Miss’ pass defense is better than Missouri’s, ranked seventh in the SEC, but it still may not be good enough to handle the return of quarterback James Franklin to the Missouri lineup. The Tigers averaged 45.7 points per game in the six games Franklin started before suffering a shoulder injury that has kept him out the last five games.
It’ll be a tall task for Missouri to win both games the next two weeks, but it’s also going to be tough for the Rebels to stop that Tiger offense on Saturday. My guess: Missouri 41, Ole Miss 40 and Gamecock fans have to hold their breath one more week.
Around the SEC:
In the most LSU story of the day, Tiger officials, including coach Les Miles in his own homey way, are urging the students at Tiger Stadium to clean up their potty mouths so that the band can return to playing some of what the school considers classic standards. The school had to stop playing “Tiger Rag” and “Neck” because the student section sang along with their own lyrics. I have no idea what those lyrics were, but they have been described as “distasteful.” Can you imagine what passes for “distasteful” in Cajun country?
“If everything was PG, it’s one thing,” Miles said.
Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews keeps catching passes and is poised to pass former Commodore Earl Bennett as the most targeted wide receiver in SEC history.
Florida’s Tyler Murphy may miss another week. Is there any chance Georgia Southern beats the Gators? You can be sure South Carolina quarterback Connor Shaw has helped the Eagles coaching staff this week. Shaw’s older brother Jaybo is an assistant at Georgia Southern.