South Carolina plays Missouri on Saturday to open 2017 SEC play. Here’s what you need to know about the game:
Who: South Carolina (1-0) at Missouri (1-0)
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Faurot Field (71,004), Columbia, Mo.
Series history: Missouri leads 4-3. USC leads 3-2 since the teams became SEC rivals.
TV: ESPN2 (Anish Shroff, play-by-play; Mike Golic Jr., analysis; Roddy Jones, sideline)
Radio: 107.5 FM (Todd Ellis, play-by-play; Tommy Suggs, analysis; Langston Moore, sideline)
Satellite radio: Sirius 138/XM 191
Line: Missouri by 2 1/2
Weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 78 degrees
What’s at stake
The Gamecocks open SEC play with an SEC East rival that went 4-8 a season ago.
If USC can pull out a win, it moves a step closer to a possible 4-0 start before visiting Texas A&M.
The Gamecocks will have the task of either trying to outscore a Tigers attack that produces video game numbers or get a handle on it. The latter outcome would be a big step for a young defense.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds. Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
South Carolina players to watch
1. Sophomore quarterback Jake Bentley showed his upside with some high-level throws against N.C. State. His overall numbers of 17-for-29 for 215 yards, three touchdowns and an interception were solid, but he had some inaccuracy issues to clean up.
2. Running back Rico Dowdle ran for 27 yards and a touchdown against a tough N.C. State front, but should have more room to run against a Tigers defense that hasn’t been stout. He also caught a pair of passes for 51 yards and a score.
3. Freshman cornerback Jamyest Williams played a little less than half of the opener because of N.C. State’s penchant for playing two tight ends. Missouri’s spread formation likely will have him on the field more, depending on rotations, and the Tigers likely will test him.
Missouri players to watch
1. Junior quarterback Drew Lock made his first career start against USC in 2015. Since then, he’s evolved into a solid triggerman, executing the Tigers’ high-paced spread attack while throwing for 3,399 yards with a 133.3 rating as a sophomore. His completion percentage last year was low at 54.6 percent, and he’s said improving that was a goal.
2. Senior defensive end Marcell Frazier was a solid pass rusher a season ago, with 7 1/2 sacks. He had one sack Saturday and is one of the few veterans on a defense that lost a lot of key pieces.
3. Sophomore tailback Damarea Crockett is part of a backfield the Tigers hope is deeper than last season, but he’s explosive. After posting 1,062 yards at 6.9 yards a carry, he opened 2017 with 204 yards at 11.2 per carry.
South Carolina depth chart
QB – Jake Bentley (Michael Scarnecchia)
RB – Rico Dowdle (A.J. Turner, Ty’Son Williams)
WR – Deebo Samuel (Terry Googer)
WR – Bryan Edwards (OrTre Smith)
WR – Shi Smith (Randrecous Davis)
TE – Hayden Hurst (Kiel Pollard)
TE – Jacob August (K.C. Crosby)
LT – Malik Young (Dennis Daley)
LG – Donell Stanley (Sadarius Hutcherson)
C – Alan Knott (Chandler Farrell)
RG – Cory Helms (Blake Camper)
RT – Zack Bailey (D.J. Park)
DE – Dante Sawyer OR Keir Thomas
DT – Taylor Stallworth (Kobe Smith)
DT – Ulric Jones (Javon Kinlaw)
DE – D.J. Wonnum (Daniel Fennell)
LB – Bryson Allen-Williams (Antoine Wilder)
LB – T.J. Brunson (Sherrod Greene)
LB – Skai Moore (Eldridge Thompson)
CB – Jamarcus King (Chris Lammons)
S – D.J. Smith (Javon Charleston)
S – Chris Lammons (Steven Montac)
CB – Rashad Fenton (Jamyest Williams)
NICK – Jamyest Williams (Chris Lammons)
PK – Alexander Woznick OR Parker White
KO – Parker White
P – Joseph Charlton (Michael Almond)
LS – Ben Asbury (Matthew Smith)
KR – Deebo Samuel (Rashad Fenton)
PR – Chris Lammons (Rashad Fenton)
H – Danny Gordon (Michael Almond)