The math may not be quite this simple, but it’s not far off.
Get sacks, win games.
South Carolina’s defensive system cannot function effectively without pressure on the quarterback. The Gamecocks have seven sacks this season, which ranks 11th in the SEC.
Four of those came against North Carolina. A win. Three of them came Saturday against UCF. A win. The two games in between, South Carolina didn’t record a sack, and it didn’t win a game.
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When quarterbacks have time to set themselves and get comfortable, they are going to put up yards and points against the Gamecocks because eventually a receiver is going to find an open area on the field. When quarterbacks don’t have that time and that level of comfort, the defense has a fighting chance.
Missouri, Saturday’s opponent, has allowed seven sacks this season, which ranks ninth in the SEC. They have allowed those sacks to three unimpressive non-conference opponents and Kentucky. If the Gamecocks are going to get their first conference win of the season, they have to add to that number.