An early look at South Carolina's second SEC opponent, Missouri. This is the second in a series looking at each of South Carolina's eight SEC opponents. Coming Wednesday: Kentucky.
... Last year's record: 8-5 (5-4 in Big 12)
... Bowl game last season: Defeated North Carolina 41-24 in Independence Bowl
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... Head coach: Gary Pinkel 85-54, 11 years (158-91-3 career record, 21 years)
... Series record: Missouri leads 2-0
... Coaches All-SEC selections: WR T.J. Moe (3rd team); OL Elvis Fisher (3rd); OLB Zaviar Gooden (3rd); DB E.J. Gaines (3rd)
... James Franklin, QB: Franklin is a dual-threat quarterback, throwing for more than 2,800 yards last year and rushing for 981. His 36 touchdowns were the third-most in Missouri history. But Franklin must prove he can acclimate to the tenacious defenses of the SEC. Plus he is recovering from shoulder surgery.
... This will be the Tigers' second SEC game — and first on the road — since joining the conference. They still might be learning what it's like to compete in the defensive-minded SEC after playing in the high-scoring Big 12. The SEC didn’t do Missouri any favors with its schedule as the Tigers open with the past two winners of the Eastern Division, Georgia and USC.
... SEC teams are going to have to slow down a Missouri offense that averaged nearly 33 points and 475 yards a game last year. Junior QB James Franklin is a Heisman candidate after throwing for 2,865 yards and rushing for 981 in leading the Tigers to an 8-5 record. He accounted for 36 touchdowns (21 passing, 15 rushing). He might he the most mobile quarterback the Gamecocks face in 2012.